From Steve Asher@3:800/432 to All on Tue May 23 15:42:24 2006
Last Update: Tuesday, May 23, 2006. 2:37pm (AEST)
Junk mail deliverers to 'spy' on households
An Australian marketing company is planning to use its network of
catalogue deliverers to collect information about households that
will be sold to advertisers.
PMP is giving its walkers global positioning tracking technology, with
the eventual aim of having them feed back information such as whether
fences need painting, and which neighbourhoods have high numbers of
children or pets.
"We would be saying to our walkers in time - not today, but in time
- that obviously they would be able to collect data for us as they
walk around the neighbourhood," PMP chief executive Brian Evans said.
"So we could say in a particular suburb there are more houses needing
painting than others, we could say to advertisers: 'Look this is a
prime area for you to look at'."
Mr Evans says the company is not planning to collect personal
information, such as the details of what people are hanging on
their clothes lines.
"We're not talking about looking at anything personal at all ...
it's just gathering some basic data that says this is a good area
for promotion for dog food, for instance," he said.
The Australian Privacy Foundation is worried by the development.