Collusion of Evil Marketers
Do you remember that scene in the movie “Father of the Bride”, where George Banks has a melt-down in the super market over the superfluous buns? Some big shot over at the wiener company got together with some big shot at the bun company, and decided to screw the American public! George just wants to buy 8 hot dogs, and 8 hot dog buns… is that SUCH and UNREASONABLE request? Apparently. This is the type of collusion of evil marketers that my husband references when he wants to make a point. And, unfortunately, today’s post showcases another collusion of evil marketers:
I mentioned Spokeo in a recent post, as referenced in an article about a woman’s attacker stalking her, and her supposition that he found her through her Spokeo profile. It’s ironic, and quite sad, that Spokeo has an ad for data protection on their site that proudly provides a service to aggregate and display all your data! This is a perfect scenario for the big shots at both companies to get together to screw the American public! Here’s how it would go:
Spokeo evil marketer: “So, Reputation.com, have I got a proposal for you! My company will go to all the websites on the internet and pull everyone’s data into a profile. Then, if people want the data to go away, I’ll send them to you for data clean up! You just pay me a monthly commission fee, and we’ll call it even.”
Reputation.com evil marketer: “This is a great plan. I’ve got another person we should cut in on the deal: private investigators! I’ll have them pay me a monthly fee to find people, and then I’ll use your site to find them, and then I’ll tell the person that I wouldn’t have been able to find them if they’d just used my service to clean up their online presence! It’s PERFECT!!”
Then they hug and watch George Banks-esque melt-downs happen in the super market of the internet. And screw the American public.
In theory, it’s all ok, because George Banks could just buy 3 packs of hot dogs and 2 packs of hot dog buns to make 24 hot dogs, leaving no superfluous buns. And, theoretically, he’s thwarted the evil marketing plan! Except he doesn’t want 24 hot dogs, he wants 8 hot dogs, so now instead of 4 superfluous buns, he’s got 16 superfluous hot dogs. Theoretically, people could keep their data off Spokeo by never going online… ever. Except, anecdotal evidence suggests that Spokeo uses more than just online profiles, they use all sorts of “public” data. Except, “marketing and business lists” are generally sold, not put out for the public, so even if you don’t put any information online, it’s still quite possible that they’ve got something on you, so you’ll have to use Reputation.com anyways!
This is not to say that all online data is scary, damaging, or harmful, or that all sites that make a profile for you are trying to turn the world into a terrible place. I am saying, however, that we should all be aware of what we put out into the world, and the ways in which some of my more devious peers will try to manipulate you. That, and I got really excited when I found a reason to post the scene from “Father of the Bride”, and the Spokeo/Reputation.com relationship was too good to pass up!