AM: (bounced) response to demographics question
sorry, this response bounced for some reason; it was intended to precede
the item on OPS...
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 15:01:56 -0500 (EST)
From: Ross Stapleton-Gray <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Ross Stapleton-Gray <email@example.com>
To: Andrew Forbes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
cc: Adv/Mktg <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: AM: Value of user demographics, Part 2
On Fri, 9 Jan 1998, Andrew Forbes wrote:
> Site registration, "cookies", and
> guesstimates inferred from site activities are all being
> tried in an effort to convert IP address to demographic
> data about the surfers. None of these offer the level of
> accuracy and auditing available to marketers using
> telemarketing or direct mail...
> There is a solution to this problem, and the key lies in
> the statement: "when an Internet sits down in front
> of their computer and uses a modem to connect to the
> Internet, they do so using an ISP. The ISP validates
> the surfers ID..."
> IPID proposes to act as an resale agent for this
> accurate and auditable information possessed by
> the ISP(s).
As one who's regularly tilted at windmills far in excess of my size, I'm
not the one to be naysaying, but this is terrain that a lot of major
players are ploughing, or which is so fragmented as to be difficult to
engineer. For starters, I would look into the work of the World Wide Web
Consortium (http://www.w3.org), and particularly their "Platform for
Privacy Preferences Project" (http://www.w3.org/P3P/). The idea here is
that they're developing the standard whereby sites would (seamlessly and
automatically) convey their policies re personal data use, and browsers
would negotiate with servers... if a site doesn't measure up to your
demands (e.g., "no resale of my name"), it's flagged with the same sort of
warning as you see when going from a secure connection to an insecure
Given that anything like what you propose is heavily dependent on
standards, and standards are increasingly where the money will be, you'll
be sharing a table with Microsoft, Netscape, all the Bell companies, and
anyone else with money to spend on strategic planning...
Ross Stapleton-Gray TeleDiplomacy, Inc.
firstname.lastname@example.org 2503 Columbia Pike, Suite 118
Director, Electronic Embassy Program Arlington VA 22204
http://www.embassy.org +1 703 685-5197 / 5257 fax