Your personal data for a house - maybe

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For a couple weeks now, a contest has been promoted online, on a radio station, where people have the chance to win a house, valued at 600.000 euro. Not bad a prize, one may say, but when I was checking out the website and looking at all parties involved with the contest, something kept telling me joining this contest thing was a bad idea. Suddenly I noticed the name "Permesso", which rang a bell. Not because I know the people or the company behind the name, but because I immediately connected it to the english word "permission". And that... I didn't like.

I dug a little deeper and sure enough, Permesso is a Direct Marketing firm. They collect data and market stuff, so all the data a contestant enters online - or is requested later in the game, which I don't know for sure as I decided to back out - is worth hard cash to them. Enough to warrant a 600.000 house to be handed out? Probably, otherwise they wouldn't be having this competition in the first place.

Imagine yourself giving up a bunch of personal data and details for an odd chance to win a house. Sure, a house you could consider worth giving up your privacy for, but what is the actual chance you win? In the mean time, Permesso and the other parties involved, win with every contestant that enters, each time their pile of data grows, grows and grows. Am I suprised that people join things like this? Not really. In fact they had me fooled at first as well, until my radar picked up on the underlying implications. Is the whole thing a scam? No, it isn't. Is the balance between contestant and organiser good? Depending on how you value your privacy, it may be, or not be.

The offset of giving up my data in regard to the guaranteed benefits certainly wasn't worth it to me. And, going by this article All my personal details for chocolate? Go on then! most people just don't realize the value of personal data. Wise up people, please... And stop sending me spam, chain letters, "send to 10 friends and win free cinema tickets", "forward and win an ipod" or other spam collecting monstrosities like that. Keep on sending the porn though ;)

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on April 18, 2006 6:09 PM.

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