Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Selling yourself tomorrow to buy today

Wow - I just read a really thought-provoking piece on The Register titled: Privacy? Forget it. Sell your brain and desires to the highest bidder

It discusses the future intentions of companies seeking to buy your purchasing habits; and provides insight into the reasons behind Phorm, Facebook's Beacon, and many of the cutting-edge market-data gathering machines out there.

Nothing new you say? So thought I until I got through it all - it's a fresh and entertaining angle on an argument that we may have heard a lot about - but which still has room for improvement. Well worth a read.

Here's a snippet to get you started:

All around us the toasters are getting smarter. Sadly, we don't seem to be keeping up with the program. We remain poor schlubs.
In the good old days, a toaster was just a toaster. It warmed bread and issued the odd electrocution. Tomorrow's toaster, however, brings with it a new set of functions that travel well beyond bread.
As we hear it, the toaster of the future will contain more silicon and communications systems. It will have sensors that can detect an upcoming failure, and alert you, via e-mail perhaps, to order a new toaster. Or maybe the toaster will order a new version of itself from the internet if you've enabled the self-upgrade feature. That future toaster may also talk to other gadgets in the home. Perhaps they'll agree on when they should shut down to save energy or to avoid a fire. Maybe they'll agree on the next brand for their upgrade cycle and make sure you get matching stainless steel appliances throughout the home or that your current penchant for pastel kit is obeyed...

Read on...

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