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ECT News Community   »   MacNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: A Reality Check on Righteous Privacy Indignation

Re: A Reality Check on Righteous Privacy Indignation
Posted by: Chris Maxcer 2010-12-23 07:04:49
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When I first heard about The Wall Street Journal 's expose article last weekend, titled "Your Apps Are Watching You," I was outraged: My iPhone apps where sending my iPhone 4's Unique Device Identifier to marketing companies? They were tracking my location and sharing it with advertising networks? They were sharing my age and gender and ZIP code? And when I spent a certain amount of time navigating some apps, they were tattling on me -- communicating how much time I spent with them, how deep into the app I delved?

I completely disagree!
Posted by: emk 2011-01-02 15:43:44 In reply to: Chris Maxcer
There are a number of places where your whole thesis in this post is IMHO wrong. But lets first of all point out that secretly capturing information about me and selling it off to 3rd parties is wrong because I did not agree to it. Some may not care but I do. Plus if my info is valuable, why should I not be paid for it?

This is the reason companies capture your info in secret. Because many of us would not consent, given the choice.

That alone should suffice to make the practice wrong.

Now some other points:
1. this practice has nothing to do with our wanting free stuff. Companies do this because they can and it helps them make money. Its not about making up their profits because their products are so cheap or free. Even companies that charge a hefty premium on their products like Apple are still quite happy to take your info. Ditto for Google, Microsoft etc If they can make money off your info they will take it, doesn't matter whether they already have 100% margins on their product.

2. Its not about ads being dumb or relevant. Relevant ads can be dumb, uninformative and just as time wasting as irrelevant ads. Besides, relevance is about a lot more than just current consumption. Finding out what I like now and marketing that to me. Its more usefully about what I will like tommorow. Extrapolating from what I like now to what I will like tommorow. And this is just what these marketing companies are worst at. It does'nt matter how much they learn about me.

The dirty little secret about all this info gathering is that its not really about better meeting your wants today, its about shaping your future wants.

Companies like Apple don't satisfy your wants, they shape them! Thats the holy grail for marketers. Not to produce products that consumers will want, but to produce consumers that will want their products. Its all about control, the more they know about you, the better they can shape your wants. While allowing you to preserve the illusion of being in control of your own consumption. This is a marketer subservient culture.

Many people think marketers are geniuses at producing products that consumers just have to have, while marketers are really geniuses at producing consumers that just have to have their products.


Advertising vs. subscription business models
Posted by: Grannelle 2010-12-28 06:15:24 In reply to: Chris Maxcer
Excellent points all round. This post reminds me of a discussion in one of my e-Commerce classes: what choices do content providers have beyond advertising and subscription? An interesting corollary to this is Hulu.com's AdTailor, wherein users are given the opportunity to decide which commercials are on point and of interest for them. Until someone comes up with a third alternative for footing the bill, I daresay we will be left with the two aforementioned choices, one of which is glaringly obvious.
Jump to:
Which best describes what you think about requiring Covid-19 "vaccine passports?"
It will prompt more people to take the vaccine to help end the virus.
It will lessen restrictions and provide more freedom for individuals.
It is a violation of privacy and civil liberties.
It will lead to stigma and discrimination.
It will encourage counterfeits and other criminal activities.