Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Beware of the Valentine bunny

p2pnet.net news:- Guerrilla marketing is in, and has been for a while.

Enter anime ads. Popular in the worlds of both porn and pop, now they've reached mainstream online advertising.

The busty, coquettishly posed figure on the right, in bunny outfit, thigh-length stockings and garter belt, is on a Yahoo page featuring a Reuters story.

She invites you to send a message to the one you love, Valentines Day being only a couple of days off, and the caption orders, SEDUCE IT.

Seduce what? The Vespa? The bunny?

AND you get to download a screensaver! In other words you're allowing them to put software into your system. And just because you didn't actually type it into a form, it doesn't mean they're not collecting information about you. Click on the ad and you're clicking on a program, not a link.

If you go for the email or the download, or both, here's what the privacy statement says:

In Accordance with article 13 of Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 'Personal Data Protection Code', Piaggio & C, S.p.A.( data controller temporary manager of the Human Resources and Information Systems Division), informs you that, subject to your consent [our emphasis], your identifying data, and the other information you supply, such as addresses, profession, interests, etc., are collected, recorded, processed, stored and used for the functional purposes of the provision of services offered by Piaggio & C S.p.A., and to comply with the Law.

For this purpose your data may be processed for the purposes of commercial, promotional or marketing initiatives, sold to other companies for said purposes [our emphasis] and for profiling activities, the purpose of which is to monitor the degree of satisfaction of Piaggio Group's customers with its products and services in order to ensure that each product and service is better focussed on the needs of its customers, and to enable this company and/or other Piaggio Group companies, to send out information notices on both general technical issues and to market/promote Piaggio Group services," says the privacy.

However, there's nothing on the 'send your message' form telling you what could happen to your data, or that you have to give your approval before scooter maker Piaggio can, apparently, legally do anything with it. You have to click the privacy button to find out. How many people do that? And then what?

Meanwhile, what happens to all that juicy information scooped up when people use the scooter bunny to send their messages of love and don't specifically write to Piaggio telling the company it must not be used or sold off? Have they given their permission by default?

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