Around the Hub: Postcards have killed email, but not data collection

Mark 2018 as the year personal emails became obsolete. Blame postcards. 

Not exactly a high tech replacement, but a replacement nonetheless. 

Why not? Postcards are personal, easy to save and can be turned into nice wall art — if the pictures are worthy. Probably cheaper than a regular postcard too.  

Think about it. At $2.75, which includes postage, you get a card sent to someone and you never have to get out of your seat. Genius. 

As with anything in this digital age there’s got to be a catch though right? 

My guess is that this is a massive data collection scheme. You give all your details, plus  the address details of a loved one and credit card info over to someone’s database. 

If you think that’s not going to be used to solicit you for other offers, think again. 

Data is everything in marketing. It doesn’t just help the tech savvy business to speak to a specific demographic it also gives that business information sell to other businesses. 

So, that postcard actually is a great marketing tool for direct marketers. Not only that, its a fairly exploitable database of content and signatures linked to your credit card. 

Think about what the average hacker can do with all that information! Think about what the Russians could do with it! 

It’s been said before, but as we are turning over more and more data to marketers and profiteers, we are giving up more and more privacy. At some point the advantages of convenience — sending a postcard from your phone — will be outweighed by the disadvantages of robocalls, junk email and spam. 

But where’s the tipping point? I’m not sure we are there yet. But we’re getting closer. Recently officials in Washington were bemoaning the very real possibility of a “deep fake” — manipulated video and audio that looks irrefutably real — even if its not. 

Done well we will never know it happened. Kind of like a digital postcard when you think about it. 

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