Skip to main content

Everybody's Watching...You

This is still a marketing blog, not a political one, but topics where the two areas intersect are fair game. So it is with the recent flap over the NSA searching for suspicious patterns in the phone records of Americans, which is even less shocking than the revelation that professional athletes sometimes chemically enhance their performance.

The fact is, we have very little privacy left, from either the public or private sector. Ever checked your credit report? (You may not want to.) What's in there may surprise you. And it isn't just the big three credit reporting agencies who have this information; almost anyone with a checkbook and a lick of creativity can get the information, including your insurance company.

Got any vices? Alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate almond fudge ice cream? Unless you exclusively pay with cash, your favorite retailer knows exactly what you buy and how often you buy it, and RFID technology will soon provide them with even more information. Once again, if your supermarket clerk knows this, anyone with capital and curiosity can find out.

Do you market a luxury item? Want to know who the wealthiest Americans are? Forget the old Forbes list. You can buy the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the one million most affluent households online. You can even buy lists of consumers based on their health status, hobbies, home value, and buying habits.

The U.S. government has access to all of that data and more. The government, of course, knows where you work, what you do there, where you live, how much money you make, and how many kids you have. You help them update their database every year sometime before April 16th. If you live in a place that has toll roads, the government even knows the route you drive to work and about what time you normally arrive and leave. They also know what's in your backyard (pool, trampoline, hot tub?), how often you use it, and how many people you use it with. (Google's tool limits how closely you can zoom in; the government's view is much closer.)

The government uses its own tools, and partners with the private sector. Ever wonder how the FBI knew so much about the 9/11 terrorists just days after the attack on the World Trade Center -- where they had eaten, rented cars, had lap dances, bought their plane tickets? They got it all from a little Arkansas company called Acxiom. Unfortunately, that little company knows a lot more about you than it does about protecting that information.

But back to the politics: none of this loss of privacy has been caused by George W. Bush. Nor, to be non-partisan, is it Bill Clinton's fault (though it may be partially Al Gore's, since, after all, he invented the Internet).

To anyone with a libertarian bone in their body, this complete lack of privacy is no doubt troubling. Perhaps we need new laws, or perhaps better technology to enable individuals to protect their privacy. But regardless, it is simply ludicrous to assert that government agencies obstensibly tasked with defending our safety and freedom shouldn't have access to the same information as someone wanting to sell us cars or mail out coupons for toothpaste.

*****

Terms: NSA phone records, online privacy, Acxiom, credit reporting, lifestyle data

The Web marketing portal: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

RSS feed

Comments

All Time Greats

Best of 2008 - SEO Tools, Part 1

This content has been moved to Best of 2008: SEO Tools on the Webbiquity blog. ***** technorati tags: SEO tools, backlink checking, search engine rank, website grade, link building, Searchlight, Brian R. Brown, Netconcepts, Link Counter, Search Engine Land, Mona Elesseily, Page Zero Media, SpyFu, Search Marketing Blog Online, Jon Clark, TechCrunch, Erick Schonfeld, Website Grader, HubSpot, Rank Checker, KeywordEnvy, Trevor Claiborne, SEO People, link ninja, Paul Teitelman, Traffic Marks, Small Business Search Marketing, Matt McGee, SheerSEO, SearchNewz, Navneet Kaushal, Search Engine Journal, Ann Smarty del.icio.us tags: SEO tools, backlink checking, search engine rank, website grade, link building, Searchlight, Brian R. Brown, Netconcepts, Link Counter, Search Engine Land, Mona Elesseily, Page Zero Media, SpyFu, Search Marketing Blog Online, Jon Clark, TechCrunch, Erick Schonf

How to Use SEO: Leverage SEO To Be Found Online and Boost Your Online Marketing

All businesses that want to attract customers online, no matter the business size or age, have few options other than Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  SEO In The Box™ by Results Driven Marketing®, LLC There are roughly 1.8 billion websites online, and basic SEO allows Google to find and index or catalog your webpages.  After that, Google serves you up to searchers in the organic section.  The question remains: where they list your site, on page one or page 22 or further back? SEO controls your positioning. Do you want to be found online or not? If your business is online or you want your product or service to be found online, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must, and knowing how to use SEO to leverage the power of the internet is vital. Arguably, an effective SEO strategy gets you on the organic results section of the search engine results pages (SERP). Organic traffic is highly valuable and requires high-quality SEO. But even businesses that use l

Email Campaign, Newsletter and Banner Ad Click-Through Rates (CTR)

When planning online advertising and email promotion budgets, it's critical to calculate the likely ROI upfront whenever possible, as well as to establish campaign benchmarks. The first step is understanding the average and likely range of CTRs for various programs. The growth in online advertising, the proliferation of enewsletters, the emergence of new forms of information delivery such as RSS and the emergence of social media sites have all affected CTR, so planning based on current data is crucial. It can be challenging to find current statistics, but based on several studies, these are typical CTR ranges for email newsletter ads, email campaigns (blasts or internally-produced enewsletters), and banner ads. Email newsletter advertisements Open rates range from 28-40%, with an average of about 33%—meaning that roughly one-third of the subscriber base is likely to see your ad. The Advertising Is Good For You blog tracks these statistics from DoubleClick . The average CT

Best of 2008: Social Media Optimization, Part 6

This content has been moved to Best of 2008: Social Media Marketing on the Webbiquity blog. ***** technorati tags: online video SEO reputation management social bookmarking social media marketing SEO and reputation management Search Engine Journal Loren Baker Google Video ClipShare PHPmotion 30 largest social bookmarking sites Anything Goes Blog Stuntdubl social media can increase revenue Social Media Today Jacob Morgan increase blog traffic How To Make My Blog Marko Saric what not to do in social media Interactive Insights Group Robin Broitman social media gaffes Target Motrin Starbucks Whole Foods FedEx del.icio.us tags: online video SEO reputation management social bookmarking social media marketing SEO and reputation management Search Engine Journal Loren Baker Google Video ClipShare PHPmotion 30 largest social bookmarking sites Anything Goes Blog Stuntdubl social media can increase revenue Social Media Today Jacob Morgan increa

Top Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Google AdWords and PPC

Looking for some online marketing strategy or social media tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper digital marketing advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? But you already know how effective digital marketing can be in the modern age. So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top-notch digital marketing tip! The Pure Unfettered Power of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and PPC Campaigns Just like optimizing your site to rank for keywords, you can use our online marketing tips to pay to run advertisements on Google so that your business is shown on the first page of search engine results. Ranking this way is instantaneous whereas SEO (Search Engine Optimization) takes some

Top-Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Advertisements That Make Sense

Looking for some online marketing tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource ! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper DM advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? But you already know how effective Digital Marketing can be in the modern age. So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top notch-digital marketing tip! Advertisement Congruence If your business is running ads this is one of our most important online marketing tips! Ad congruence is when your ads and landing pages look alike or have the same message. Have you ever clicked on an ad and been taken to a page that looked nothing like the ad? When your ads look like the web pages they lead to, customers will feel like they are in the right plac

The 8 Layers of a B2B Web Marketing Plan

One way to think about designing a B2B technology web marketing plan is as a series of layers, like an onion. At the core is SEO—simply making your website "findable" through organic search to buyers who are looking for what you offer. Working out from the center are concentric layers of additional investment and sophistication. Small companies and start-ups with modest budgets will focus most of their efforts on the inner layers or rings, which are primarily designed for lead generation. As the company and its marketing budget grow, efforts can be expanded to the outer layers, which are aimed more at branding but support lead generation efforts. Ideally, a company eventually reaches the outer layer where pure branding activities (such as print advertising) help to maximize the effectiveness of lead generation programs (such as SEM) near the center of the circle. This diagram shows how different types of web marketing programs can be prioritized in order to maximize the re

Top Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Optimize Your Site

Looking for some online marketing tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper digital marketing advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? But you already know how effective digital marketing and an seo strategy can be in the modern age. So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top-notch digital marketing tip! Optimize Your Site to Improve Search Engine Rankings Most small business owners know that their websites need to be optimized in order for search engines, like Google and Bing, to find them and rank them on the search engine results page. If you don’t know, that’s okay. You can learn all about Search Engine Optimization and SEO best practices here to help impr