Algorithmic marketing has arrived, maybe or unintentional algorithmic marketing as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Back in December of 2009 we had some similar types of issues with money going in some directions to where many were not aware.
Here’s a short refresher on the link above that tells about how insurance companies were benefiting from virtual money.
“Facebook users play a social game, like "FarmVille" or "Friends For Sale." They get addicted to it. Eager to accelerate their progress inside the game, the gamers buy "virtual goods" such as a machine gun for "Mafia Wars." But these gamers don't buy these "virtual goods" with real money. They use virtual currency.”
We already have IDs via coupon use too with several advertisers and this is one reason I don’t like coupons any more and rarely use them.
Habits and Identities Revealed via Coupons – Facebook Fan Pages Can Make User ID Visible – Shopping Algorithms Reduce Privacy And Increase Visibility
Below is an image from the wall Street Journal that shows some of the applications that were exploiting the information. When you get a ton load of queries running with many applications without each entity having their own security strongly in place, this type of stuff appears.
Last week we had the story about the website Patients Like Me that was breached too by a user disguised as a forum member.
Patients Like Me Experienced Data Mining Through a Data Mining Research Firm Break In –The Nielsen Company
The real key to privacy here seems to be non participation just in case and again I have no time to fiddle around with any of this and I do watch the coupon routine too. It was just last week I asked why everyone in healthcare is marketing like crazy and I think it all has to do with the data being available and at times someone stumbling upon it and once found, they use it or consider how they can use it. I am glad that others are on the look out and test some of this stuff too. Money is being made by selling personal information right and left. BD
Many of the most popular applications, or "apps," on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.
The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook's strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook's rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users' activities secure.
"A Facebook user ID may be inadvertently shared by a user's Internet browser or by an application," the spokesman said. Knowledge of an ID "does not permit access to anyone's private information on Facebook," he said, adding that the company would introduce new technology to contain the problem identified by the Journal.
The apps, ranked by research company Inside Network Inc. (based on monthly users), include Zynga Game Network Inc.'s FarmVille, with 59 million users, and Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille. Three of the top 10 apps, including FarmVille, also have been transmitting personal information about a user's friends to outside companies.
RapLeaf also transmitted the Facebook IDs it obtained to a dozen other firms, the Journal found. The most expansive use of Facebook user information uncovered by the Journal involved RapLeaf. The San Francisco company compiles and sells profiles of individuals based in part on their online activities.