It’s ironic how subjects like these keep rearing their heads again lately. Yesterday was the Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act update and now, a day later, there are additional thoughts out there about the Online Privacy Bill of Rights. It’s easy to think they might be related, only they’re actually further apart than you might expect. The Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act addresses how third party merchants are to act ethically and transparently while the Online Privacy Bill of Rights is addressing how sites are collecting our private information and sharing that information.
The first question that comes to mind is, of course, whether or not the Online Privacy Bill of Rights is a good idea and step in the right direction. It is. Unfortunately, where it was left last December, the companies who were going to be restricted from sharing your information were also going to have a hand in designing the code that determined how the information could be collected on their sites. This raised a few questions in my mind, but nothing has really come of that part of the process since. And it’s probably no surprise that there are groups out there who feel the bill doesn’t go far enough in protecting consumers.
Maybe it doesn’t, but will that stop marketers from still trying and eventually getting your private information? Douglas Rushkoff points out in his article originally published on CNN that finding your information has been around a whole lot longer than the internet. Yes, the digital world makes things easier, but marketers have been using public records to create files on us for years. Putting up a roadblock isn’t going to stop them. It’ll just result in them taking a detour before arriving at much the same destination again.
It’s all about the ads and the potential to make money.
A co-worker just e-mailed me an article about Amazon releasing a new, cheaper version of the Kindle. How can they afford to offer a reduced price on one? Are you already a step ahead of me? There will be ads. While they won’t pop up and intrude on your reading, they’ll be there at the bottom of your screen. I should say that they won’t pop up and intrude on your reading “yet.” If there’s a buck to be made, they’ll be there soon enough. Can you just imagine the kinds of information marketers will be compiling to suggest books we might buy? Help!!!