Friday, August 21, 2009

Week 5: Web Metrics and Marketing Research, 2

I read the NY Times article on smartphones ("Advertisers Get a Trove of Clues in Smartphone") on the subway this morning and a lightbulb went off - Verizon gave me my Blackberry in exchange for a 2 year service agreement.....why not give away smartphones & service in exchange for users waiving their privacy rights?

Everyone's tiptoeing around privacy concerns (as they should be), but as Prof. Schwartz points out in the article, "People should be allowed to trade most kinds of information for value as long as the terms are fair. They're not fair now." This would seem like a fair trade, certainly not an unprecedented one (e.g., netzero), so to my mind, the question is financial - is the data a wireless provider could harvest worth more than the marginal cost of supporting another user on their network? Maybe my imagination is running away with me here, but considering the depth of data marketers could get to under such an arrangement, I think this could be a goldmine.

1 comment:

  1. Putting a price on your personal data is an interesting idea, but it would be difficult for most of us the calculate what an appropriate value would be. Many teenagers and undergraduate college students seem to think that the price of this private data is zero and they are giving away all sorts of information. The cost won't appear until later when an embarrasing photo or detail of one's life affects one's ability to get a job or perhaps be elected to a political office.