MyWare: Personalized Service or Invasion of Privacy?

Written by Dana Oshiro

This post is part of our ReadWriteStart channel, which is a resource and guide for first-time entrepreneurs and startups. The channel is sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark. To sign up for BizSpark, click here.

pleaserobme_privacy_feb10.jpgThere’s a fine line between what is considered a knowledge database and an invasion of privacy, and that line is likely to be determined by marketing. This week we wrote an article about Please Rob Me – a service that identifies Foursquare and Gowalla check-ins on Twitter and lets others know that a person is not home. While location-based services are often touted for their social and recommendation-based benefits, the realization that they can be used negatively have many questioning the responsibility of those groups that collect the data.

privacy_responsible_feb10.jpgIn mid January Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stated that the age of privacy had come to an end and we responded that evolving preferences were not a valid justification of the elimination of privacy preferences. Nevertheless, between cookie tracking and browser identifiers like those shown in the EFF’s Panopticlick and the fact that it only takes your zip code, gender and birthdate to identify you, it’s hard to ensure total privacy in the first place.

If a startup were to put up a page simply to capture the information of your friends, all of of your daily habits, your location and your purchases, few would opt in. But as’s Felix Miller pointed out more than 4 years ago, you might do it for «myware».

While spyware is undeniably a dubious thing, myware is the practice of spying on yourself for benefit.’s AudioScrobbler collects data on a user’s listening habits, songs, tags, preferences and friends. That information is then used to update a database and an algorithm then calculates song recommendations. Across the Web that same system of opting into myware is used to target advertising, make shopping recommendations, deliver relevant news and provide customized services. But because this is marketed as a service, rather than a personal data grab, few mainstream users weigh the disadvantages to opting in until it’s too late. Google Voice‘s transcription feature is a great way to take notes on your calls, but isn’t it akin to opting into a wiretap?

As startup entrepreneurs, what responsibility do we have to educate our users on the perils of opting in? And how can we do this without disrupting the virality of the service?

Photo Credit: Rob Pongsajapan

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Autor: Gabriel Catalano - human being | (#IN).perfección®

Lo importante es el camino que recorremos, las metas son apenas el resultado de ese recorrido. Llegar generalmente significa volver a empezar!


LIFESTYLE - by Esther Herrero

Being Your Brand

Branding and Strategy for Business and Life

Cruces, Sol y La Imaginación

Cuando la imaginación y la creatividad suman infinito


fanzine bejarano de historietas hecho en los 80

A Stairway To Fashion

imagination is the key

Vinod833's Blog

This site is the bee's knees

Apasionada de las Redes Sociales

Compartir conocimientos 2.0 y Marketing Online

Zona de Promesas

Blog de Tecnología en Español - Internet - Redes Sociales - Entrepreneurship - Innovación

Top Master | Blog


La realidad alterna

Poesías, relatos, diario de sueños

Unencumbered by Facts

Taking unsubstantiation to new levels

PsicoEmocions Blog

Un Pont entre la Psique i les Emocions



Comunicación & Marketing

De Lilian Lanzieri


Dirección estratégica para la vida

StellarHIRE Partners

Founding Partner, StellarHire Partners - Executive Search Consultants. Recent engagements include Eloqua, SFDC, Tibco and Veeam.

ivanbrunpr's Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this site


Noticias de Tecnologia.

T a l e n t o  en  E x p a n s i ó n

Gestión de personas y transformación digital para las organizaciones líderes de la Era del Conocimiento

Two Leaves Tea SPAIN

Great Organic Tea! ✫✫✫✫✫ Te Organico en Piramides

Ideas para la clase

Experiencias creativas en la clase de español.

Little Grey Box

Travel Well

No solo los 80's

La mejor música de la historia

Molly Balloon's Blog

Identity + Dressing + Colour

El OJO PUBLICO. / Глаз общественности

Ver para contar & contar para ver. / Чтобы рассказать

Think Creative Idea Growth Hacking

Expertos en estrategia y auditoria de marketing

The Coaching Alliance

El camino hacia el éxito

Erick Lovera

Mi Pasión en un Blog

Estampas de México.

“Un fotógrafo tiene que ser auténtico y en su obra, debe expresar emociones, provocar reacciones y despertar pasiones.” ~ Javier García-Moreno E.

Natalia Gómez del Pozuelo

Escritora y formadora en comunicación


Alimentación, ocio y negocios, ALOYN, es un Grupo dirigido a Directivos y Propietarios de empresas, interesados en el mundo de la industria de alimentación y bebidas. Tanto por la parte de la industria productora como por la parte de la industria consumidora y/o distribuidora (Distribución Comercial, Horeca, Vending, Venta Directa, etc). También nos interesan las actividades ligadas al agroturismo y el enoturismo como magníficas actividades de promoción y difusión de la cultura gastronómica.

Blog de Jack Moreno

Un blog de Joaquín Moreno sobre recursos, literatura y ciencia ficción


Ensalada de Manjares

be. Intelligent Multimedia Education

~~Mente en Gravedad~~


The Xtyle

Fashion Blog - Un Blog de Moda y Tendencias by Bárbara Sanz Esteban

aníbal goicochea

Tecnologías de la Información y Estrategia

A Waterfall of Sound

"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words." Robert Frost

Health & Family

A healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit

Style & Design

Fashion Trends and News


News, Headlines, Stories, Video from Around the Nation

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: