Did you consciously buy that last purchase?


I have been reading a number of tech books of late and wanted to share some of the recent advancements there have been:

New technology allow cameras built into television set-top boxes to be programmed with algorithmic models that read our facial expressions and tell advertisers what we do and don’t like; Nielson is partnering with a number of tech companies to manufacture brain reading – called NeuroFocus – which is meant to take the guessing out of why consumers react to what they see on a screen or read or listen to.

New smart phones collect enormous amounts of data. Mobile telephone companies gather and store digital data on calls made and received and how long each lasted. In additional, the chips in the phone’s GPS track a user’s location, the length of stay, and other mobile users it is in touch with. Tapping this sort of data is known as as reality mining, and combined with data mining becomes more than scary.

Companies are “supposed” to keep customers data secure and not share it, however they have been selling it for a number of years to a variety of buyers. A company called Phorm have gone one step further, approaching telephone and broadband internet providers with software that tracks each consumer’s online activities, so that a “nameless” portrait of each consumer can be created. In return for sharing the compliant companies get new revenue “spigots”. In 2007 Phorm had done deals that covered two-thirds of Britain’s broadband houses. Information for 2010 isn’t available but the suggestion is that there is now 100% coverage.

Something to think about. Big brother has been watching for a long time but that was all he was doing – watching. Is he now actively dictating what YOU see.

Did you consciously buy that last purchase?

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