Monday, September 19, 2005

Camera and video-camera phones (like my Treo 650) already pose a security risk. Phones which run an OS and are essentially small computers escalate that risk. Recently, while visiting the Giza plateau outside Cairo, a scanner somewhere in the vicinity of the guard booths detected my Treo, identified it as a mini-computer (distinct from the many cellphones in pockets all around me) , and a guard promptly emerged from a dusty hut and asked to examine it.

Camphones have been challenging corporate security for sometime. Sensitive documents are easily passed around by photographing the pages and walking out with the phone in one's pocket. No company yet bans celphones from entering or exiting, but the security staff will look at everything else in your bags. More powerful still is the ability to easily "scan" in documents that can be immediately converted to their original document formats.... and that is what this new innovation in celphone technology may be able to do. That raises the ante on information sharing, competitive intelligence, and several other types of security hazards.
Here it is:

Date: September 19, 2005 12:26:00 AM PDT
Subject: Camera Phone As High-precision Scanner
Posted by: ScuttleMonkey, on 2005-09-19 05:58:00 from the gadget-goodness dept.[1]

christchurch writes "The software, developed by NEC and the Nara Institute of Science and
Technology (NAIST) in Japan, goes furtherthan existing cellphone camera technology by allowing entire documentsto be scanned simply by [2]sweeping the phone across the page. As reported, an A4 sized page takes only 3 to 5 seconds to scan, and it is causing copyright concerns."

References1. =dn7998&feedId=online-news_rss20

Monday, August 08, 2005

The marketing industry can't live without data, the "continuous marketing intelligence" stream we have all come to depend upon to do our jobs. Everyone participates in the production of information culture, everytime we use a credit card, access the internet, move (and tell people about it), make a phone call... almost any public and many private actions triggers a database somewhere to record it.

Then it must be shared. Data yearns to be shared. Thousands of databases routinely connect and share data. We build API's into our data products to make that easier. Quite a few companies make more money from selling their customer lists and data about customers than they do from marketing their own products or services.

At the same time, individuals are terrorized by identity theft. So easy to do, so damaging, and so difficult to prosecute that people's lives can be quickly ruined by just one thief armed with a little of their data.

Bank of America. T-Mobile. Axciom. Lexis-Nexis. ChoicePoint. When computer security at each of these billion-dollar organizations was breached, customer data was exposed. A lot of customer data. According to The Washington Post, at least 50 million customer accounts have been exposed to the possibility of identity fraud since the beginning of this year.

But individuals aren't protected against the repercussions of these massive heists. Nor is it likely to happen soon. Why? Because without the easy, unrestricted flow of data the marketing industry, and business as we know it, would just stop.

For almost 20 years I've worked in, and studied, information businesses. I am simultaneously fascinated and repelled by the inner workings of the data and research industries. Data flow is the core of the so-called "information economy" with all its rewards and risks. This journal is intended to be the spot where I can share my informal thoughts, observations, musings, and speculations and hear from others with similar interests. Welcome to "MarketIntel!"