I’m a 115-year-old woman from Venice Beach

Ah, grumpy consumers. Someone has started a group on Facebook that protests its data collection. To play, you update your profile to explain you are a woman born in 1895, now residing in Venice Beach, California — so you can thwart those evil marketers snatching your information to serve you ads.

Which makes us wonder, why are consumers so bent out of shape about online marketing while everything they do in the real world is tracked by Experian data giants for use in mailing lists? We’re working on a BusinessWeek column that pushes on this issue a bit. We suggest it’s actually beneficial when your data is seen, since you are more likely to get product offers that are personalized to your interests. Maybe you don’t buy things, have just the clothes you need, and own an empty attic and garage. If so, feel free to become a 115-year-old woman who lives in Venice Beach, California.

2 thoughts on “I’m a 115-year-old woman from Venice Beach

  1. For me, it’s more an issue with FB mangling my settings, rather than letting me determine what is and isn’t personal, to me. I don’t mind online ads, for the most part I don’t even notice them (except the popups, hate them).

    The group is more a jab at FB’s use of my (previous) partially private info to generate revenue, without considering that I might have different ideas about what I am willing to share. Doing it over again, I would just leave my profile blank from the outset, rather than have to rediscover what had been un-tweaked each time they do an “upgrade”.

    Will it have any real-world affect on the way they implement policy? Probably not. Does it make me feel a little better to let them know, in my small way, that they irked me? Yeah, maybe.

    It’s not so much grumpy consumer of advertised products (that may or may not be well-targeted). It’s an issue of grumpy user, on a site that makes questionable decisions with regards to its userbase.

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