The Tweedles

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Techie Future...

So I normally leave my techie commentary for my techie sub-blog but since Dea needs me to pinch post for her again, you lucky tweedle-readers get a peak at some techie future...



I was reading over at jeff jonas' blog, and he had a really interesting take on what's coming next in technology. Go have a
read. Done?

Yeah, I know most of you skipped it, so here's the summary. Now that everyone is carrying a cell phone/mini-computer on them at all times, the very psersonalized internet is coming. The cell companies know where your phone is (within a few meters at least) and with nothing more than a few days data of where your cell phone has been it's possible to know a huge amount about you.

Looking at the data, where you live is obvious since that's where your cellphone goes every night. Is it a rich neighborhood? A young neighborhood? Renter's neighborhood? See how much we already know!

Where you work is also easy to summize, since you spend a huge amount of time there. Is it in an industrial park? An office building? A starbucks? Do you have two jobs? Oh how much we learn...

We can see how you get to work. Do you take the bus, bike trails, or the freeway.

We know where you hang out. Got a favorite gym, movie theater or coffee shop? Or maybe a bar? (Or maybe a gay bar...)

We know where you like to shop. Is it at the boutiques downtown, or Walmart?

When was your last vacation, and where did you go...

And we can easily find your secrets... Identifying affairs is obviously easy, but secret hobbies are outed by your frequent trips to the model train store...


It's amazing how much information a little location data reveals. Now a cell company would never give all this information to third party because it's too personal. Your home & work addresses alone are probably enough to identify you. But if they anatomize it just a little bit (say make your home and work locations accurate to the nearest block) then it becomes much harder to identify you, but keeps the data very useful for learning about you.

So what keeps the companies from selling this anonymity data? Nothing, they do it already! Didn't you read page 18 of the phone contract? Oh well...

So where does this mean the internet is going? Imagine ads that are targeted at you based on this location history. Do you usually go shopping Saturday morning? Maybe the boutique you visited a couple weeks ago sends you a coupon Friday night. On your way home from work at the factory? Those comfy new boots look good in that ad. Have you been visiting car dealerships lately? Get used to car ads!

Are we going to put up with this? (Well, so far we are.) The truth is people actually like ads that are highly relevant (and they click on them). Because these ads get results they're worth more to advertisers who pay more to show them. This makes your favorite ad-supported websites more profitable and lets them improve. So happier customers, advertisers and publishers! Everyone wins...

The privacy issues of course remain tricky and are what's keeping this in check. If history is a guide though, people will grow more comfortable with sharing this information.

Enjoy the very personalized future...

1 Comments:

At 11/18/2009 7:22 PM, Blogger Gabrielle said...

I for one went and read ...it all........ok so I think that I shall get rid of my cell Phone.......I for one find that a scary thought...........

 

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