Where are the contours of privacy in a world with Blippy?

Yes, we have privacy laws in Canada that protect consumers from some evil privacy violations, but that's a difficult front to protect — after all, companies can do almost anything with your personal information if they have your consent. And since people are apparently willing to do consent to almost any use of their personal information in return of the slightest benefit, what part of the personal information ecosystem should privacy advocates be focussing on?

Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's back up a minute and introduce Blippy, a new service that launched in private beta last week that automatically publishes your credit card transactions to the web. You read that right. From Techcrunch's coverage:

A new service, Blippy, launching today in private beta,has an interesting way to take something you do everyday, buy things with your credit card, and automatically push those transactions online for others to see and interact with.

??

Yes, I know this is a controversial idea ??? that???s part of what makes it potentially a great one. Imagine being able to see everything your friends buy with a credit card as they do it. This not only tells you what kind of things they???re actually into (rather than someone just saying they like something), but also other information like how cheap they are, as well as where they actually are at a given time. There is actually a lot of data tied into the transactions we make, and Blippy takes that and makes it social.

The thing is, even though part of me sees this as the ultimate privacy violation, I can also see the appeal. What do you think?
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: