Monday, October 17, 2005
I am not sure how can the third party deliver an application or service without information about the platform from which the ring tone request was sent (if that is not provided along with cell phone number but then I am just an Identity guy not a cell phone tech expert and do not know about the standard in this field). But I am bothered by cell phone company as “big brother” who own the medium, authentication technology, and the gateway to ecommerce over an unencrypted medium which makes them a very big owner of information on user physical identity, habit, social connections (guess phone usage given you a good idea). I am sure the silos within the company itself may be keeping this information distributed but as the integration of these identity silos are completed over time think of the information they have access to (if the ecommerce through cellphone takes off). So going back to your earlier article, this is probably the biggest difference between Apple iTunes and ring tone purchase model. In case of iTunes, the Apple is not in a good position to collect this kind of data and the transactions can not be correlated while in case of Cellphone the company can become quickly very powerful and start selling user’s habits and social contact info (without providing their personal information) to ring tone providers to allow them to better customize the ads etc on per-user basis. Is it good or bad will probably depend on what that information is used for!