Archive for the ‘Privacy’ Category

Who’s Looking in Our Digital Garbage Cans?

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Who’s Looking in Our Digital Garbage Cans?

The Devil (as Played by Al Pacino) wants your digital garbage too

The Devil (as Played by Al Pacino) wants your digital garbage too

What if a consumer brand could look into your garbage can, anywhere – anytime? It’s happening everyday Online, digitally. Brands are digging where the sun ain't shining and finding out a lot about us, not just personally, but, very-very personally.

I’m talking about your digital garbage can, not your living room, or even your bedroom. Hell, we've been leaving the window open in those two rooms for you-know-who to come in and root around for a good while now. Digital garbage cans are a whole new level for brand “engagement.” This is the kind of rooting that can yield some super-serious consumer intel – in real-time to boot. For a brand, this is like Christmas 24/7 and the "gift" is in the form of some very überesque consumer data – on an unprecedented and very scary level.

It’s all happening as we speak. Those doing the “real” looking are getting better and better at it everyday, and, they don't want you to know it. There’s over a billion plus of us, and growing, happily inviting those doing the “peeking” into our lives, bedrooms, and garbage cans - all in exchange for maybe, just maybe, somebody will “Like” us.

Facebook is one of the most prolific consumer, people, constituent, you name it, monitoring platforms ever devised - so far. It’s “the ultimate backstage pass,” (a special thanks to John Milton – The Devil’s Advocate) and then some.

Google is doing the same thing with G+. Every mention of products or services trigger a feeding frenzy behind the scenes which allows these massive HAL type machines to build a digital profile of each of us.

So let’s get back to the “garbage can” and what in the world could a consumer brand do with this kind of "particular stuff” they find? I’m real tempted to say “Duh” here, but, I won’t. With this kind of data, a consumer brand can “hit” a consumer with all kinds of highly personalized ads for things – or services, before something even happens with a person. Simply grabbing posting chatter from someone talking about an up-and-coming event in his or her's life a few weeks or 9 months from now, not to mention a pick up of more useful "tidbits" along the way is all it takes. Brands have always been obsessed with not just predictability, but the right kind of predictability. Well, now they got it. Just ask Facebook.

Of course there could be ramifications, there always are.

The Bottom Line (there always gotta’ be one of those) is:

Big Brother isn’t just watching – he’s moved in, and, looking in our digital garbage cans. The best part is, we’ve rolled out the welcome mat for him, so maybe, just maybe, we’ll be “Liked.” Add to this the pre-garbage data that is gleaned from all the shopping cards veiled as money saving specials all designed to gather demographic, purchasing, and behavioral data and you got a brand blueprint of a customer and predictability that only your nearest and dearest should have.

Oh, and just so you know, there is somebody who can dig into our digital garbage cans better than Facebook, and yep, it's yours truly - Google.

A little worthless side-note: If I were a Communications/Advertising company, with a hunger for Social, I’d seriously consider hiring law enforcement professionals, specifically computer forensic and detective types. They saw and applied Facebook’s potential for peeking into peoples digital garbage cans long before a lot of other professionals did. And, nobody does it better… just my two cents.

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