TOC Rational Paranoia Your Turn

June 12, 2007

No diplomat worth his or her salt would dream of a quick solution to some current conflicts. What strikes a dispassionate mind is how much each party has become suspicious of the other. It looks and feels like paranoia and it is. Yet the same observer also knows that the behavior of two paranoid opponents is buttressed by cold logic. If you beware Greeks bearing presents as you should, how can you reach out to peace?

As I was reading May Wong's report (*) about "Apple Inc.'s recent rollout of songs without copy protection software", I could not but conclude that marketers and privacy advocates have descended in such a rational paranoia.

Here is an obvious gift by Apple to the many users that have legitimately complained about the heavy-handed approach by the music industry to copyright enforcement. Yet any effort by Apple marketers to track any consumer data for any length of time is bound to be seen in the light of those fig leaf privacy policies we are bombarded with everyday. "We promise to follow the law and keep your personal data absolutely confidential unless we find it advantageous to us to do otherwise". As if pronaocracy did not make sure no privacy laws with teeth can ever be enacted.

To break the vicious circle of rational paranoia, I see only one way. Foolish logic. As the reader can appreciate I harbor no illusion on the propositions I make to marketers. The idea that companies could do without any access to any customer data at any time is foolish to say the least. Yet I have logic to back me up. If the ultimate goal of marketers is to boost sales rather than amass personal data, why antagonize your own prospects if you do not have too?

Philippe Coueignoux

June 2007
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