A Posterboy for Advertising’s Pro-Consumer Quid Pro Quo | The Technology Liberation Front

A Posterboy for Advertising’s Pro-Consumer Quid Pro Quo | The Technology Liberation Front

I enjoy reading the Tech Liberation Front blog, even though I am far less sure that the “privacy” free market is working as well as the TLF bloggers contend.  But the writers are often witty, sharp and entertaining and are deeply immersed in privacy issues.  It has been nice getting to know Berin Szoka, TLF blogger and Progress and Freedom Foundation fellow, and I look forward to some spirited sparring with him at next weeks Capitol Hill PFF event Regulating Online Advertising.

Berin recently blogged about a favorite DC yogurt shop, Mr Yogato’s,  which gives patrons a discount if they allow a promotional “stamp” on their foreheads.  He  makes the point that there is “no free lunch” and that online the trade consumers make for free content is that they are shown advertising.

Berin is correct, of course, there is no free lunch.  Online, data supported advertising is part of the trade-off for free content.  But to use the Mr Yogato analogy, here is what is happening online – consumers are having a cookie ID number quietly stamped on the back on their necks, aren’t told about any discount for their yogurt purchase, and then policymakers are told that all is fair because yogurt shops would go out of business if they couldn’t earn revenue by tracking or marketing to users in this manner.

I think much of the consumer  and legislative concern about tracking would dissipate if more online companies would be as upfront with their customers as Mr. Yogato is with his.  Some of us are happy to have our forehead stamped, some prefer to answer trivia questions and others will pay full fare.

Would you allow your forehead to be stamped in return for a discount? My wife says she would, but I am still thinking about it.

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Privacy Calendar

Sep
23
Tue
Mapping Issues with the Web: An ... @ Tow Center for Digital Journalism/Columbia Journalism School
Mapping Issues with the Web: An ... @ Tow Center for Digital Journalism/Columbia Journalism School
Sep 23 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
On the occasion of Bruno Latour’s visit to Columbia University, this presentation will show participants how to operationalize his seminal Actor-Network Theory using digital data and methods in the service of social and cultural research.
Sep
26
Fri
Yale Day of Data @ Yale University
Yale Day of Data @ Yale University
Sep 26 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
This day-long event will focus on data science and partnerships across industry, academia, and government initiatives. The day will also include presentations by eight Yale faculty and researchers on issues specific to research data management,[...]
Oct
11
Sat
City by Numbers: Big Data and th... @ Pratt Institute
City by Numbers: Big Data and th... @ Pratt Institute
Oct 11 @ 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
Big Data—the exponential growth and availability of information—is one of the defining phenomena of our time. It affects us all on different levels – with far-reaching social, environmental, and governmental significance. To help make sense[...]
Oct
21
Tue
Consumer Action’s 43rd Annual Aw... @ Google
Consumer Action’s 43rd Annual Aw... @ Google
Oct 21 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 21 @ 8:00 pm
To mark its 43rd anniversary, Consumer Action’s Annual Awards Reception on October 21, 2014, will celebrate the theme of “Train the Trainer.” Through the power of individual and small group trainings, Consumer Action each year is[...]
Oct
29
Wed
Big Data and Privacy: Navigating... @ Schulze Hall
Big Data and Privacy: Navigating... @ Schulze Hall
Oct 29 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The rapid emergence of “big data” has created many benefits and risks for businesses today. As data is collected, stored, analyzed, and deployed for various business purposes, it is particularly important to develop responsible data[...]
Jan
28
Wed
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 all-day
“Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008, as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. The Day commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first[...]

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