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AM: (bounced) response to demographics question

To:     Adv/Mktg <>
Subject:     AM: (bounced) response to demographics question
From:     Ross Stapleton-Gray <>
Date:     Fri, 9 Jan 1998 15:39:43 -0500 (EST)

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 <>
Reply-To: Ross Stapleton-Gray <>
To: Andrew Forbes <>
cc: Adv/Mktg <>
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 (, and particularly their "Platform for
Privacy Preferences Project" (  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.                    2503 Columbia Pike, Suite 118
Director, Electronic Embassy Program    Arlington VA 22204                  +1 703 685-5197 / 5257 fax

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