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RE: AM: Value of user demographics, Part 2

To:     Andrew Forbes <>
Subject:     RE: AM: Value of user demographics, Part 2
From:     Ross Stapleton-Gray <>
Date:     Fri, 9 Jan 1998 17:31:09 -0500 (EST)
cc:     Adv/Mktg <>

On Fri, 9 Jan 1998, Andrew Forbes wrote:

> If the industry goes to an ISP direct to marketer approach
> (bypassing users) for the conversion of IP to demographics,
> I'd assume that ISPs will offer "base" Internet accounts that
> are subsidized by demographic sales, and "premium" accounts
> that are not.  In other words, the eventual beneficiary of the 
> sales of the demographic information will be the consumers
> that choose the subsidized service.
> You are considering letting Whole Foods act as an "agent"
> for the resale of your food purchase preferences in exchange
> for a small discount; would you consider letting your ISP
> resell your demographics in exchange for a discount? 

I think this imagines some hooks that aren't effectively there, e.g., a
widely-recognized protocol for ISP-to-Web site communication through which
such identity passing would happen.

As a business niche, you're only getting the demographics (even if this
works) of those users opting for "low ball" access to the Web.  Not the
ones that Mercedes or Schwab will pay you a large CPM to have targeted.
And the ISP market is so fragmented and nonstandard that I'd despair of
promulgating the necessary standards and practices.

I'll defer to anyone who might be able to report on the machinations in
the OPS & other privacy standards community, and what they might know of
current "user out of the loop" data harvesting practices.  AOL, for
example, has a very good idea of the identity of every one of its 10M or
so users... has it proposed doing a similar thing?

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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