who owns the customer database

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Brandon Van Every

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May 24, 2012, 12:47:15 PM5/24/12
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On Thu, May 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM, Sean Bonner <se...@seanbonner.com> wrote:
> For example: Spreadshirt - A
> site where you create a store, upload images, and sell t-shirts to people.
> By any reasonable definition if I upload a shirt design to my store and you
> buy a shirt you are my customer. But not in the EU, EU law states that you
> are spreadshirts customer and they legally can't tell me anything about you.
> Privacy law everywhere else in the world says you are my customer and
> spreadshirt doesn't get any info about you, only I do. It makes no sense.

However, private corporations running portals in the USA will
typically make you sign away your rights to any customer data if you
want to use the portal. A prime offender is Apple's iStore. So the
situation is not that much better in practice in the USA. The big
companies are not dumb, they all want to control the customer
databases. It's the small developers who are dumb, allowing (say)
their indie game development to just be a widget that fulfills the
needs of these big portals, and builds no customer retention for
themselves.

> It's not practices, it's ethics.

I agree that Google is more ethical than Facebook, but it is only a
question of degree. Google's corporate culture changed a number of
years back, when they started hiring a bunch of profit-minded
ex-Microsofties who brought their corporate culture with them. "Don't
be evil" should be taken with a lot of grains of salt nowadays.

I don't think this debate has arrived at a solution or logical course
of action regarding consumer privacy issues. In the absence of any
further ideas on the matter, perhaps we should wind this down and get
back to technomadism.


Cheers,
Brandon Van Every
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