Saturday, October 06, 2001
Doug Peckover contributes this opinion to Tracy Swedlow's [itvt]. Peckover proposes a "personal shopper" to address privacy issues surrounding interactive television. His proposal includes this functionality for iTV applications:Along with their viewing preferences, subscribers could enter information on goods and services that they intend to purchase. People have less and less time to shop and appreciate help finding the right item at the right price. For this to work, however, they would have to be 100% confident that the service would not misuse this information.
All personally identifiable information would then be removed (not a trivial task) and the remaining unfulfilled demand data could be used in a variety of creative ways to enable no less than half a dozen new revenue models.
From a user experience point of view, however, such an approach means balancing convenience with privacy. The attraction of "T-commerce," in some views, is the opportunity to buy something as soon as I see it. Setting up a ReplayTV deck is difficult enough, will users have the patience to sit through an application to capture shopping preferences? Perhaps the burden should not be on the user.
Peckover's efforts should be applauded: it is a creative solution to a complex problem. I wish I saw more efforts like this one to address the privacy issue.