Re: 3 Proposals: session ID, business-card auth, customer auth

Fisher Mark (
Wed, 19 Jul 95 07:03:00 PDT

James Pitkow writes in <>:
>In no way is the no-user-interaction method in agreement with previous
>research in the area. Critical to whom anyway? Companies that will only
>let you see their pages if you give them demographic info? Sounds like
>- some pay, others don't.
For some people, they will want to automatically give out their demographic
info. Others won't. Either way, it can be pretty useless to the company;
there are many examples of commercials that stuck in people's minds but did
not persuade them to buy the product. The demographic information for
everyone on or off-planet (hey, there's Mir! :)) is worthless if no one (or
not enough) people want to buy your product. An attractive web site that
gets many visits but generates few or no sales is reasonably analogous to a
commercial that sticks in everyone's minds but generates few or no sales.
Personally, when I surf from work I would want to be asked before sending
out demographic info (and I would; I am just curious about who requests it),
whereas when I surf from home I would want to be asked but more than likely
would not give out my demographics.

>Do we really want to end up having to struggle to get our basic rights back
>from companies that hold terabytes of information about us in a few years
>or do we deal with the issue now? I think that there is a real need to
>be concerned about the what models and policies we adopt as we move into
>this new era and that this is not spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.
There is also the factor that once one entity (company, government, labor
union, church, ...) gathers information, it becomes possible for other
entities to get ahold of that information. Given the fact of free will,
some will choose to abuse the rights of others, and if they have the
organizational backing to do it, so much the better.
Mark Fisher Thomson Consumer Electronics Indianapolis, IN