The Pizza Man Knows Everything!

    February 1, 2006

John Battelle links to this scary/thought-provoking/it-could-happen Flash video on the ACLU’s website showing a world where any business you call can know pretty much anything about you.

In this imaginary video, a man trying to order a pizza is shocked to find out the pizza place knows all about his recent purchases and health problems.

Now, I regularly give up my personal data to Google, but if my AdSense account representative said, “You can improve your ad revenue by writing about this topic, which we’ve seen you often search on, and you might want to dedicate more time to your website and less time to midget porn”, I’d be frightened enough to quit the whole system.

Note to companies: You’re already doing a crappy job with phone service. More data on customers isn’t going to solve it.

In fact, the most unrealistic part of the video is that its an American voice on the pizza end of the line. They’re already working on outsourcing that job to India. And I’m sure a guy in India is perfectly well-suited to understand anything about my local neighborhood, which pizza toppings are best, and all sorts of other things. But they’ll hire him, and wonder why more people are cooking their own food all of a sudden.

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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