The Big Think

December 17, 2005

Do NOT Call

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 12:12 pm

The various data companies are trying to acclimate people to invasions of privacy. It started with the zip code and now it’s moved on to phone numbers…I’m willing to bet that retailers’ market research is showing a willingness of customers to share the telephone number, and that’s why it’s happening.

Some of my friends don’t understand why I don’t give up my phone number or zip code to cashiers who ask for it. I always give them a polite “no”, or just tell them to make one up. I’ve started giving them the stores’ own number if I can see it, and for the more persistent/rude I’ll tell them to enter their own personal home number. That usually makes my point strongly enough to make them back off. If my friends ask me why I don’t just give my info out I tell them that it’s a privacy matter, but this doesn’t end their objections. Why not just do it? They ask. It speeds up the transaction, you don’t look like a jerk, and it’s not like they can use it for anything anyway.

We’re also on the national Do Not Call registry, but according to this article, that may be subverted if we give out our phone number:

…even if they are on the federal “do not call” registry…. giving a phone number while making a purchase may establish a business relationship, and companies can call individuals on the “do not call” list with whom they have prior business relationships.

The telephone number is really becoming the hub of customer identification… Consumers do not understand that giving out the phone number allows the business to buy more information about the consumer through a system known as enhancement.

Not only that, you can also get an e-mail address through data enhancement…So getting the phone number opens you up not just to getting phone calls, but to spam.

Obvious irony: I publish this public weblog. I’m sure with very little work someone could track me down.

iPod vs Cellphone

Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 11:23 am

“more people plan to buy an iPod this holiday season than a cell phone”

full story here.

Fry?

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 11:20 am

Is Futurama coming back?

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