Google & Jaiku: It’s About Mobility
- the usual cookies
- your mobile number
- your mobile network operator, cell ID, city, country, cell name
- whether you are currently using the phone or whether the phone is idle
- phone’s ring profile
- Bluetooth buddy/laptop/desktop count
- the duration and description of current/previous/next calendar event
- an indication of whether a call is currently in progress (3G only)
On top of this Google would have access to any personal information you may have stored with Jaiku in your profile. This could include:
- name and email address
- home town
- birth date
- biographical information
- instant messaging user names
- personal interests.
Needless to say, there are the usual paragraphs about how your personal information may be shared with a new owner:
In the event Jaiku enters into a joint venture or is acquired by or merged with another business entity, we may disclose your personal Information to our business partners or new owners.
And that things may change, without you being able to do anything about it:
Consequently, we also reserve the right to modify this Privacy Statement at any time in our sole discretion. You agree that such alteration shall be effective upon posting on the Jaiku.com web site and you will be bound to any alterations when you use the Service after such alteration is posted.
Nothing too surprising there. But the thing here is to remember that Jaiku is Google’s first real foray into a potentially very lucrative space: Mobile. While there are modest gains to be made from throwing ads at static online (folk accessing Jaiku from their laptop or desktop) the real benefits accrue when users are mobile.
Jaiku’s mobile widget fits pretty seamlessly into your address book, enhancing the profiles of fellow Jaiku users with photos, presence messages, their upcoming appointments (I was alerted by a friend that I had inadvertently given permission for Jaiku to access my whole calendar; “have you called your Mum yet?” he asked, cheekily, after seeing that was my next engagement.)
All this information outlined above would be available to Google, to let them fire ads at us. For the first time, as far as I know, an advertising company not only has access to what we’re doing (our presence message), they have access to where we’re doing it (the cell ID etc), what we’re doing next (the calendar), how long we’ll be doing it for (the duration of the event), whether we’re focused on something else (indication of whether we’re on a call), as well as the usual preferences we may have registered in our profile (gender, age, interests, etc.)
The point here is that Jaiku is one of the first of such tools to shift the social web to the mobile social web. (Another is ShoZu, which moves photo uploads, and the communities around them, to mobile.) I love both services and use them a lot. But perhaps now is the time to ponder just how much personal information we either consciously or unconsciously hand over when we use them, and how comfortable we are about it.
It’s one thing to feel somewhat stalked at your desk, but another to feel stalked via your mobile.
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10. October 2007 by jeremy
Categories: Bluetooth, Internet life, Phones, Privacy | Tags: Advertising, Blog hosting services, Google, Jaiku, like-but-better tool, M&A, mobile social web, social web, Twitter Inc. | 2 comments