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Monday, January 29, 2007

The Public Information Bubble

Here’s an idea for a (Google?) patent for 2015: targeted advertisement for the public information bubble. The public information bubble, PIB, is defined as your openly emitted information in public spaces. As an example: you’re sitting in the train, wearing a shirt with a Nike logo, reading a book by Kerouac, and listening to your iPod loudly playing Christina Aguilera. A call comes in and you answer your cell phone, telling your friend you’ll meet up at Johnny’s Rock Cafe at midnight. Cameras are already installed in many public spaces, like trains, so I take for granted there won’t be a privacy issue by aggregating all this information. Now, with that in hand, similar to Amazon’s “customers who bought this item also bought...”, the seat in front of you will now match your interests – Nike, Jack Kerouac, Christina Aguilera, and Johnny’s Rock Cafe – and on its digital screen display an advertisement for, dunno, Kelly Clarkson’s new CD. Whoever owns that train just made a commission, and whoever set up the matching algorithm gets the rest.

If you don’t want to be targeted, there’s a simple solution to not trigger a PIB: tune down that music on your iPod so others won’t hear it, and don’t use mobile phones in trains, fer chrissake.


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