Optaglio integrates behavior science in anti-counterfeit protection research

Optaglio founded a psychological laboratory focused on behavioural aspects of authentication processes and documents inspection. The laboratory is mostly staffed with graduated psychologists and equipped with appliances such as eye cameras and environment simulators (lighting, noise). The projects should result in the understanding of abilities of different groups of people to identify features of protection elements and measuring the impact of stress, tidiness, changes in motivation etc. Methods that will enable organising experiments around the world will be also developed in this psychological laboratory.

Tomas Karensky, senior research manager in Optaglio, said: “Technologies develop fast. Optaglio and other leading providers in our industry now produce elements that cannot be imitated at all and our technological advantage will sustain at least several more years. But do the inspectors really pay attention to protection elements? It is the key question that shouldn’t be underestimated. One answer points to machine reading, on which we are working as well. The other one points to people”

“The industry is missing systematic effort to understand human factor and include it in the design of projects.“

New psychology centre reports to Optaglio Labs focused on technology research. This connection should ensure close cooperation between technical development and behaviour science.

Optaglio believes that the comprehensive delivery should include:

  • Protection elements.
  • Methodology for their identification.
  • Methodology for training people.
  • Communication recommendation.

New behaviour research centre is situated in Lochovice, Czech Republic but expects a lot of travelling. Often it is necessary to organise testing with local people from the region where the documents examined will be mainly used.

This change is a key milestone in Optaglio research strategy. For the company, research has been the key priority from its very founding by a group of scientists from Czech Academy of Science, but the only focus was technology. Holograms with resolution more than 5 million DPI, unique visual effects, innovative tools for seamless integration of security elements into the plastic ID cards and microholograms are among the key results of Optaglio´s research. Other breakthrough innovations are being developed or tested now.

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GDPR brings benefits – to counterfeiters

In a few days, General Data Protection Regulation will become fully operational. This new standard significantly impacts any industry that works with clients, employees, students or other people. It means that every industry will be affected. It does not mean that thousands of inspectors will come to companies on May 26th and fine them with devastating sums. But there will be a risk of troubles from the first day and authorities and nonprofits are expected to harden step by step. Those who will ignore the new regulation must count with almost unlimited penalties.

Brand protection will also be, perhaps surprisingly, heavily impacted. We have already warned on this blog that if it is possible to interconnect particular product with the particular customer, track&trace methods will face problems. Product information will be seen as pseudo-anonymised data and will be covered by the regulation, which makes fakes fighting more difficult.

In the meantime, it has been published that also „the other side of brand protection“ faces problems with GDPR. New data protection standard makes it difficult to find who operates e-trade platforms and who are the sellers. Until now, a significant proportion of brand protection activities is based on manual or automated browsing across different e-shops and looking for products of the particular brand. Open databased, such as WHOIS, enable easy location who operates what e-commerce platform, relations between operators and traders etc. Based on such findings, brand protectors can understand if the subject has a kind of relations with authorised dealers. If there is no connection, it is a high risk that the product is fake.

The problem is those big databases of e-commerce providers are not able to meet GDPR requirements from the very principle. If you ask a question about a shop provider, the database can show information about a person, which is personal data. Of course, the databases will not risk huge penalties so that from now the information will be available only to those who can prove that they need information about a particular shop and they have no other possibility to protect their rights.  It is likely that new arrangement will not impact work of law enforcement units but to „ordinary companies“ it will bring difficulties or even impossibility to continue.  Read more on Securing Industry.

It leads to a question that has been already asked several times on this blog. Does it make sense to sell a product indiscernible from fakes and consequently invest into counterfeits fighting? Isn’t it better to produce something that cannot be copied by the counterfeiters?


Optaglio helps through its products and services that include:

Continuous innovation and technological development to keep advantage against counterfeiters.

GDPR – další výhoda pro padělatele

Už jen pár dnů zbývá do odstartování GDPR – normy, která dramaticky zasáhne do každého odvětví, kde se pracuje se zákazníky, zaměstnanci, studenty nebo jakýmikoliv jinými lidmi.  Tedy do každého odvětví. To neznamená, že hned 26. května vyrazí do firem tisíce kontrolorů a začnou okamžitě ukládat zničující tresty. Znamená to ale, že riziko nepříjemností začne existovat a dá se očekávat, že úřady (a specializované neziskovky) budou postupně přitvrzovat. Kdo bude nové evropské nařízení ignorovat, ten musí počítat s pokutami, včetně potenciálně zničujících.

Mezi obory, kterých by se ochrana osobních údajů na první pohled neměla týkat, a přesto je zasáhne poměrně dramaticky, je ochrana značky před padělateli. Na tomto blogu jsme již připomněli, že sledování oběhu produktu metodou track&trace se stane problematickým všude, kde je možné potenciálně spojit konkrétní kus zboží s konkrétním zákazníky a kde tudíž informace o produktu může být pokládána pseudoanonymizovaný osobní údaj.

Jenže mezitím se ukazuje, že problém je také na druhé straně. A sice, že evropská norma o ochraně osobních údajů ztěžuje možnost zjistit, kdo provozuje který obchod a kdo tam co prodává. V současné době je tomu tak, že podstatná část aktivit zaměřených na ochranu značky spočívá v manuálním nebo automatizovaném procházení elektronických obchodů a zjišťování, kde se prodává značkové zboží. Otevřené databáze umožňují snadno dohledat, zda se jedná o autorizovaného dealera, jeho partnera nebo naopak někoho bez jakékoliv vazby k originálnímu výrobci, což ukazuje vysoké riziko padělku.

Jenže ono se ukazuje, že velké databáze provozovatelů obchodů nesplňují zásady GDPR, a ani z principu nemohou. Když zadáte dotaz, komu patří určitý web, můžete se dozvědět jméno určitého člověka, což je osobní údaj. Provozovatelé databází se pochopitelně nechtějí vystavovat sankcím, takže údaje budou nově k dispozici jen těm, kdo mohou prokázat, že mají vážný důvod požadovat informaci právě o tomto konkrétním elektronickém obchodu, a že své zájmy nemohou chránit jiným způsobem. Pro policisty a různá vyšetřovací oddělení se nic nezmění, ale dosavadní procesy budou významně ztíženy či narušeny.  Více se o tom můžete dočíst na serveru Securing Industry.

Co z toho vyplývá. V rámci ochrany značky bude možné nadále sledovat oběh produktů a zjišťovat, kdo co prodává. Bude možné určit, odhalovat produkty bez minulosti, zjišťovat, zda se jedná o padělky a iniciovat razie. Ale bude to nesrovnatelně obtížnější než dosud.

Což vede k otázce, která se rýsuje už delší dobu. Je rozumné uvádět na trh produkt, který je nerozlišitelný od padělku, a potom investovat obrovské prostředky do boje proti padělkům? K čemu je pak vlastně takový originál dobrý? Nebylo by lepší vyrábět něco, co padělatelé nedokážou věrně napodobit?


Společnost Optaglio pomáhá v podobných situacích dodávkami produktů a služeb, které zahrnují, mimo jiné:

How long will taxpayers tolerate brand protection?

BBC recently published a fascinating article about brand protection, counterfeiting and anti-counterfeiting activities. Their view is quite similar to the one promoted on this blog, but BBC goes deeper. It shows that fight against counterfeiters step by step changes in the fight against customers. No corporation can win in long-term perspective. The article is available here.

There are some market segments with broad consensus between manufacturers and customers about the necessity of brand protection and fakes elimination. It is the case for drugs, alcohol, critical machine part and any other industry where purchasers expect some critical qualities. Buying products without these qualities can damage health or cause an accident.

However, in other market segments, such as handbags, luxury watches and brand clothing there are no significant risks other than revenue loses.

In the U.K., there are three million people who purchase counterfeited goods intentionally. On the other hand, only Louis Vuitton yearly initiates 10 000 police raids and 30 000 anti-counterfeiting procedures (worldwide). It is no wonder that more and more voices ask if it is really necessary that activities focused on private revenues protection are paid by tax-payers.

It is especially serious that premiere brand manufacturers are not able to offer a strong justification. Most frequently, the following arguments are used, according to BBC.

  • Profits from selling counterfeited goods are allegedly used to fund drug dealing or other types of organised crime. However, in real life, these criminal activities do not need to be subsidised.
  • Counterfeiting allegedly destroy jobs. However, in real life, the brand and the fakes are manufactured mostly in China.
  • Genuine manufacturers are allegedly deprived of their profits because of fakes. But people don’t love corporations with huge profits. Moreover, it is not sure what part of the revenue is lost. Most of the customers who purchase Breitling watches for 10 dollars would never even consider buying genuine Breitling.

Each raid or legal proceeding thus strengthen an image of evil greedy corporation wasting taxpayer resources on its profits.

What to do about it? It is the time to move to products which can be easily differentiated from any fake and whose credible counterfeiting exceed possibilities of any counterfeiter. It must be based on an application of protection elements that are distinctive, inimitable and create the core of product design.

What about a hologram with a distinctive visual effect? Or the application of tiny grains enabling anybody to look through a magnifier and see holograms. Thay may play such a central role in the marketing communication that their inspection becomes a sexy fashion.

To všechno by znamenalo, že na výrobku začne záležet víc než na logu na reklamě. Což by nakonec byla výhra pro všechny.

Such move would mean that product is more important than a logo in promotion video. The win for all.


Optaglio helps through its products and services that include:

Continuous innovation and technological development to keep advantage against counterfeiters.