Privacy and Marketing – A Blanket Statement

Targeted Marketing

An “RD rant” about the ever-present and overwhelming amount of targeted marketing on electronic entertainment media such as cable TV, and SPAM email sent to me on my computer.

I would disconnect my cable TV if it were not for my spouse who somehow can tolerate the constant barrage of all the things that must be purchased to improve our lives.

I am sooo tempted to change my email address and “go dark” except for my closest and most trusted friends. All two of them… Ha!

I realize marketing is a necessary evil in a consumer driven Capitalist society.

70 years ago, the popular media was the newspaper. It was the advertising that made the publication of a tangible printed paper a good business. The subscription was only for the delivery. It never paid for the publication.

The individual reader could not be identified and tracked. What was read on a page was private. It might never be read and just used to wrap the garbage. Ha!

Magazines are a form of improved targeted marketing as most magazines cater to specific interest. If you are selling yarn, a magazine targeted to knitters is a better investment than placing the same advertisement in a general newspaper.

The number of subscriptions was the proof to advertisers how many readers they would reach in a geographical region. But not the exact reader identity.

The mailing list brings targeted marketing identification closer with a name and address or OCCUPANT, but targeting is dependent on how the list was created and sorted.

Electronic media is far different. “Mailing Lists” now contain personal and private information for sorting.

The Invasion of Privacy

Today the individual reader view habits are tracked and messages (marketing) has become far more targeted to personal interest.

Cable TV is a two-way service and subscriber viewing habits are recorded for targeted marking. Age group, sexual preference, viewing hours, most viewed content. They also know your subscriber name and location. ONE DOES NOT VIEW CABLE TV IN PRIVATE.

The same is true for computer browsing. Nothing done on the internet happens in private. Unless you encrypt your email, it too, becomes a public record. I.E. It’s written into Google’s agreement

The USA government (and others) most likely have a back-door key for all standard encryption codes. Unless you are capable of producing your own encryption, trust no-one.

Private preference is being data-mined and sold to the highest bidder. Probably ANY bidder…

We are being brainwashed by Liberals to believe privacy and secrets are abhorrent to the good of society (and targeted marketing). Fear-mongering conspiracy and cover-ups is the usual ploy. It’s true when considering an enemy. But the problem becomes determining who that enemy may be.

Innocent until proven guilty is (supposed to be) the cornerstone of USA society.

Privacy shields both the guilty and the innocent. (And blocks targeted marketing.) One binary choice is to honor privacy or destroy it. But absolutes are never the answer.

The struggle with the balance is what I believe must be the constant effort of society. Yeah, the good old “checks and balances” system.

The extremists fearing or destroying privacy are the fringe on the blanket. The fringe is noticed and provides a measure of balance and identification. The main purpose of a blanket is to provide comfort and warmth. If it becomes all fringe, its intrinsic value is gone. Think about that.