Monday, April 25, 2005

Personalized Mobile Alarums

In my neck of the woods, it's rare to find someone that's not sniffling from allergies once spring is in the air. A mobile pollen alert a la Vodaphone is just what we need around here. Possibilities for other forms of sensors and alerts obviously abound.

To use a service like that there is a privacy trade-off though. From knowing "Where I am" which already makes us a little nervous phone companies would be a closer to knowing "Who I am". My allergy profile would be on their database.

It may be argued that our privacy is already severely if not irreparably compromised with Google's
thirty five year cookie. It is now generally agreed that "You are what you search" and there was no covenant made not to act on such intelligence.

Google sits atop a platinum mine of data that sales and marketing types would sell their souls to get a hold of. What's to say that souls are not being Dutch auctioned as we speak ?

At least with a mobile pollen alert we'll be sneezing less and enjoying the season more.

9 comments:

buckwaasur said...

lol...i think this whole google-phobia is overrated...like we're not inundated with junk mail right now...

as for privacy, what the heck...they have my SSN for the credit check before they give me a cellphone...they know where my phone is all the time...what's the big deal with knowing my allergy profile...:-)))

Heartcrossings said...

buck- no probs with allergy profile in specific. The more they know the safer I'd feel. But something about this whole business of "knowing" feels intrusive. Maybe it's just me and I should look for a cave to go live in :-)

Peppy said...

you betcha its overrated--though i wonder why google cant straight out say its for relevance than needless search history data when they release "my google".

and hey, [think i blogged on this sometime] when the privacy freaks are told "you've saved 10$ with safeway" today, they've effectively handed over every shopping habit to safeway in a nice little plastic card. sheesh! I for one, would gladly trade trend-capturing data for anything thats relevant. for all the spooks privacy freaks spread, gmail prolly is the best junk-free mail i've got.

Heartcrossings said...

Peppy - agree on the Safeway observation. I think the difference is with Google having technical sophistication that the likes of Safeway can only dream about.

The most they can do is encourage out impulse buys with teaser campaings. That is probably the state of the art at this time

Google has been path-breaking. They may well never turn evil as is their vision and use the power they have only for the edification of mankind but who can tell about temptation ?

Peppy said...

well--the key stake here is the user or the searcher. and howmuchever its true that google is used by 90% of users, the stickiness factor is hardly impressive. Remember, its a search engine, or to put it more generically, a website. Stickiness lasts only as long as the incentive exists--most mail sites couldnt afford to start charging for their mail usage services for exactly the same reason. users are extremely finicky when it comes to loyalty, and that would be the reason a google cant afford to turn evil.

buckwaasur said...

yeah hc...i guess individual threshold varies on what constitutes invasion of privacy...and there's really not much to argue there...

lol peppy...yeah i haven't gotten any penis or breast enlargement mails in my gmail...yet...*touchwood*...:-))

Heartcrossings said...

Larry Page and Sergey Brin may wince at such simplification of the Google value proposition :-) a mere search engine ..specially when they seem to be working real hard to be just about everything and ofcourse also that. But I sure hope they stay un-evil to the end.

Peppy said...

lol@hc--well as long as the google "value" proposition exists in a fragmented mode, i would think "search engine" would suffice for the time-being. unless the much-hyped rumor of the google browser is true, now THAT would be an interesting twist to move google from "search" as it exists now, to a "window" to the interet. tch, can keep dreaming cant i?

Heartcrossings said...

When Google browser comes to be - I will be looking for the aforementioned cave in sober earnest :-)