Are you ready to bend over and let the marketing world jam its fist up your butt just a lil’ bit farther? Then be the first to sign up with Pudding Media, who offer free phone service if you let them eavesdrop on your phone conversations so they can serve up related advertising on your computer. Their CEO is apparently very excited about this, because he’s found that they can actually influence what you talk about:
Maislos said that during tests he noticed that the content had a tendency to determine conversations. “The conversation was actually changing based on what was on the screen. Our ability to influence the conversation was remarkable.”
Yes, truly remarkable. It’s not enough that they monitor your phone calls, but they want to influence them as well — maybe steer it towards more interesting topics like your favorite dishwashing liquid or that fabulous Pepsi you had the other day. So we’ve pretty much accepted that our government snoops on our calls (via AT&T, fuck you very much), and the next logical step is to allow advertising douchebags to snoop as well.
On a side note, I use Gmail daily and love it to death — and it serves up automatic text-based ads based on the contents of my emails. Some paranoids out there decry this as evil, and Google as evil, blah-blah-blah…it’s the same shit we’ve been hearing since the beginning, and so far these text ads have proved to be harmless. (Other email services do the same thing, but people still bash Google.) Regardless, by now people should know that nothing is private on the internet and email is no exception — choose your words and topics wisely. The difference with this phone-sniffing business is that these are conversations, not emails. People talk more freely on the phone than they do via email, the words just spill out and there’s no time to edit or delete before someone hears it. And that’s the way conversations should be. Nobody should put their private phone conversations up for scrutiny, by machines or people, for a little free phone time. I hope this new company goes down the toilet fast.