Pizza with Everything

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The ACLU's slapped together a cute scenario imagining the downside to life in a Database Nation. In a weird sense, it's actually a little reassuring. It reminds you that there's a threshhold past which having more information about people doesn't appreciably help you make any money, and becomes creepy enough to your customers that guaranteeing a bit of privacy is more profitable. The fact that I don't have to give the pizza place my address each time falls pretty cleanly in the "useful database implementation" column for me; it's not like I was going to order a pie and keep my location a secret anyway.

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  1. I like the orange zone charge. I’ve lived in places where they won’t deliver at night. And some extra cash might convince a driver to deliver there. A gun might insure his safety but his car would probably still get broken into while he’s out of it.

  2. A Tale of Pizza Privacy: I swear its true.

    A married woman whom I know suspected her husband of screwing around while out of town and had a phone number from his pager which she suspected was his out of town honey. When he traveled to the nearby city for a gig she drove there too. Then she looked in
    the phone book for his favorite pizza delivery restaruant, lo and behold, there was one with a prefix that matched the honey’s number. So she calls to order a pizza delivered. The pizza drone dutifully asks for the phone number and my
    lady friend answers with the honey’s number. Pizza
    drone punches in the number and reads off the delivery address from the computer screen. Wife thanks drone and drives to address. Surprise! Hubby gets caught in flagrent, you know the rest of the story. Its true, its true.

  3. How come people on the left coast don’t call a “pizza” a “PIE”?

    Ahhhh, the complexities and intricacies of our fascinating culture.

    Maybe its because left coast pizza just doesn’t measure up (for the most part).

  4. Zorel:

    The bummer is I was recently in Vegas for Freedom Fest, but no one made me any such offer. My wife probably would have objected to market research along those lines, anyway …

  5. Dan,

    Hmmm…guess she didn’t have that Internet thingy. Switchboard.com and pretty much every other online phonebook does reverse telephone # searches.

  6. Dan, admit it, you saw that on a Rockford Files episode.

  7. The ACLU wrote one letter and got the cross removed from the L.A. County seal. They’re currently agitating against minor immigration sweeps which were perfectly legal.

    My suggestion to those who care about civil liberties *and* America: support another group, like the Institute for Justice. They are not, to my knowledge, basically a commie front.

  8. Also, consider their blurb: The government and corporations are aggressively collecting information about your personal life and your habits… The Bush Administration’s policies, coupled with invasive new technologies, could eliminate your right to privacy completely.

    Notice how “government and corporations” morphed into “Bush Administration”?

    If – $#@ forbid – John Kerry becomes president, what are they going to blame this on then? Holdovers from the Bush Administration I guess. At that point, the ACLU will be forced to call for reeducation camps for those holdovers.

  9. When Kerry becomes prez, his AG will tell us the Patriot Act Provisions are the reasonable restrictions on absolute freedom that a civilized, modern society accepts for peace and security. The media and academia will genuflect and say amen and the only protesters against PATRIOT will be the usual “nutcase libertarians” that nobody pays attention to anyway.

    Judging by the mailings I get from the ACLU, they will really miss Bushcroft. This administration has been a goldmine for their fundraising. However most ACLU members I know are not against PATRIOT, just the evil Bushites.

    As long as these “reasonable restrictions” are admininistered by their virtuous representatives everything will be OK.

  10. Dan,

    You’re making fun of that story as an urban legend, right? My sarcasm detector is off today.

  11. I said its true because it is. For a Luddite the lady sure figured out how to use to her advantage the tools available to her at the time. I’m not kidding. The hubby still thinks one of his band members ratted on him.

  12. Whenever I want to order a pizza I break into a house and hold the family hostage. Then when the delivery arrives I pay them and drive off to a secure location. That way the system never knows my true address.

    I don’t know why everybody doesn’t do that.

  13. Well, you could do what I do, and always get carryout pizza. Then they don’t need your address. Plus, you get your pizza within an hour, something I’ve never had delivery be able to do.

  14. Maybe you should tip better.

  15. While scary, the animation was silly: it is making a leap that some form of coercion (government, private) was making a pizza company charge more based on medical concerns as well as where the person lives (Orange zone). (OK maybe the company might have a zoning/safety issue that it might just decide to charge more for, but an obviously familiar “orange zone” (“I live in an Orange Zone??”) seems farfetched.

    Personally, in this distopia, I would open a pizza shop specializing in 1) ignoring any threat my product posed to your health (if you are worried, don’t order or hit the gym) and 2) not caring one whit about your location (assuming you were within my delivery zone) but maybe arming my delivery personel.

    Competition would mean that the conversation in question would never happen…. This poor, impotent, itchy, broke, chubby, fellow would certainly shop somewhere else. Especially after being insulted by the pizza employee.

  16. Highway:

    A friend of mine went to Vegas recently and, just walking down the street, had a written guarantee from an escort service that a woman could be in his room in 45 minutes or less. Pizza has never been that fast …

  17. Yes but did she bring pizza with her!!??!!

  18. I thought the animation was a little stupid. It was a traditional panic piece.

    The primary issue is the linking of national healthcare with private unhealthy food providers. I think we all know the problem there is not the data privacy, but the national healthcare.

    Second, no one wants to expose that data to the customer. It makes them uneasy. If the person truly liked meat pizzas, they’d give him a coupon for it to encourage him to get more — but never tell him why. People don’t like to feel like they’re being sold — a lesson some marketing departments need to understand. Plus, a great deal of that data isn’t useful to the pizza company (library, travel) or not allowed (medical, due to HIPAA) even in this “dystopian” future.

    Third, customer data provides a MASSIVE benefit to customers. Since the I work at one of the companies who made their case in “The Database Nation,” I’ll just agree with that article as a whole.

    Plus, I can tell you from experience that most companies don’t even track all the data that is important to them, much less completely unrelated topics. The idea that any company actually brings up a internationa; file on you is completely false.

  19. Doesn’t sound like she was escorting him anywhere at all, if you ask me…

  20. I thought the animation was a little stupid. It was a traditional panic piece.

    The primary issue is the linking of national healthcare with private unhealthy food providers. I think we all know the problem there is not the data privacy, but the national healthcare.

    Second, no one wants to expose that data to the customer. It makes them uneasy. If the person truly liked meat pizzas, they’d give him a coupon for it to encourage him to get more — but never tell him why. People don’t like to feel like they’re being sold — a lesson some marketing departments need to understand. Plus, a great deal of that data isn’t useful to the pizza company (library, travel) or not allowed (medical, due to HIPAA) even in this “dystopian” future.

    Third, customer data provides a MASSIVE benefit to customers. Since the I work at one of the companies who made their case in “The Database Nation,” I’ll just agree with that article as a whole.

    Plus, I can tell you from experience that most companies don’t even track all the data that is important to them, much less completely unrelated topics. The idea that any company actually brings up a internationa; file on you is completely false.

  21. Jason,

    “a friend of mine …”

    Right!

    Was she in your room within the promised time? 🙂

  22. Lee,

    I’m sure if you asked and were willing to pay the right amount, she would bring whatever legal thing (and maybe a few illegal things) you wanted.

    BTW, where do you people live? I CAN’T recall ANY food delivery service here in Las Vegas that I had to wait MORE than 30min. after ordering. Usually the wait was significantly less.

  23. Please delete my dupe post. 🙁

  24. What Brian Moore said at 11.15 re: datamining and the resulting benefits to the customers.

    the animation would have been half-funny as a joke. for ACLU to peddle this crap and request donations to fight it is ridiculous.

    if you are paranoid about this, you can always pickup your pizza, pay cash, etc.

    Contextual marketing is the in-thing, and it is a trade-off between customers willing to provide info to businesses in return for tangible benefits. The choice is customer’s.

    I am not extending this argument to the govt. since the govt can use force against you, while a business can’t (legally).

  25. “…it’s not like I was going to order a pie and keep my location a secret anyway.”

    “Meet me at the gazebo in Richards Park. I’ll be the man with the fake mustache and dark glasses, in a brown trenchcoat. The code phrase will be, ‘The silly goose flies through gales.'”

    🙂

  26. Leave it to this forum to over-react to a funny little cartoon.

    No, I’m not suggesting that private databases should be illegal or that private companies should be barred from charging based on risks to delivery personnel. Insert all necessary caveats, admonitions, and disclaimers, and recite 5 Hail Murrays to boot.

    But the part about charging more based on his health and weight because of nationalized health care reminds me of one of the little incidents that got me to stop voting Democrat. At a meeting of the Graduate Student Association I heard some people debating about whether cigarettes should be sold on campus. I was at the meeting only for the free pizza. I couldn’t really care less whether or not smokes are sold on campus. But then somebody pointed out that smoking imposes healthcare costs on all of us and somehow that comment penetrated through the mental haze I experience on a full stomach. And I realized that my lifestyle choices would in fact be a matter for public policy if we had nationalized healthcare.

    I also realized that the guy running the meeting works part-time at the grocery store where I bought my ice cream (before getting an ice cream machine) so I facetiously proposed that the campus extend its jurisdiction to cover the grocery store (the campus had recently declared that it has jurisdiction over certain incidents on non-university property) and punish him for selling me my favorite junk foods.

  27. Here’s a thought: Maybe if ACLU had been this diligent with regard to RICO we wouldn’t have the Patriot Act. Oh I know, they were busy defending the second amendment and property rights.

  28. So, Dan, the rest of the story is…you and the lady sharing a few laughs back in the old home town, eh?

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