On Too Much Information

I read this in today’s New York Times and was both impressed and disturbed by this use of people’s penchant for online quizzes (particularly about themselves):  RealAge is giving people’s health information to drug companies, to be used for targeted Email marketing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/technology/internet/26privacy.html?scp=1&sq=realage&st=cse

I’m pretty strongly against this idea, although I suppose if the site does not have a “we won’t sell your information” policy posted, it’s legal.  On the other hand, it is amazing how much personal information people will volunteer online, so maybe it is fair game if you’re okay with posting your heart-health history and income and so on.  Certainly Google has already made some steps in the direction of hyper-targeted marketing, scanning keywords in your Gmail messages to determine which ads you’ll see on the side of the screen.

Unrelated:  marketing companies are always coming up with new (sometimes intrusive) ways to show off products.  This one was amusing at least (last photo in the post):

http://www.ctatattler.com/2009/03/some-clever-bus-ad-wrap-ideas-for-the-cta.html

Also notable are the graphic memento mori bus decorations.

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