Who would have thought that you had to protect not only your physical identity, but also a virtual one? I was reading over at La Repubblica that the risks for adults using social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are a bit more serious than cyber-stalking and online bullying, they are more along the lines of loss of privacy and identity theft.
In the UK alone, the reported cases of ID theft from these social networking sites have been more than one thousand to date and are increasing. Public information about you and disclosed by you may not be such a big deal when isolated, but with the help of powerful search engines, people are able to literally put the cross fires on you and suddenly a collection of public data, when aggregated, becomes very dangerous -- for you.
Let's say you have a profile on Amazon with a wish list. Then there is a listing under your name on White Pages, and someone finds out you subscribe to a certain publication. Then a site passing itself for social networking like Peek You pays a few bucks for a student to aggregate your data, and suddenly private information is being divulged. Because now instead of one data point, there are 3 or 4.
Never mind that sometimes it is the employee at your bank that shares your personal information with third parties. Commerce Bank Security Team announced earlier that it was only a small number of customers that were affected -- I fail to see how this was good news for those customers. Wasn't this the company that only a few months ago was hailed as the example for how you do retail banking?
The web can be disruptive in good ways, too.
Imagine that there is a credit card that carries no fees, no names, no numbers, just an encrypted code and maximum portability. Today at Fast Company Expert blog I talk about Revolution Card, which was launched with little fanfare in late September. What will the adoption rate of this card be? Given that it's not yet everywhere you want to be, nor have we experienced how priceless it could make our outings, all we may enjoy at the moment is zero charges to go along with the zero fees.
What else would it take you to sign up for it? Too early to tell? And a special challenge to the marketer in you -- how will it work?
[Revolutionary Card with the Flyers hockey team logo]