Nunya!

Bill Hobbs has a blurb today about people intentionally putting phony information in registration-required media site sign-ins, quoting NYU professor Adam L. Penenberg in Wired,

Depending on my mood, I’m a 92-year-old spinster from Topeka whose hobbies include snowboarding, macram

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14 Responses to “Nunya!”

  1. McGehee Says:

    One of the first extensions I installed on Firefox was a BugMeNot pop-up that offers a login and password, if available, for whatever page I’m viewing.

    Sweet.

  2. Kat Says:

    “You want information out of me that’s valuable, you can pay me something for it”

    They are giving us something valuable . . .news, information, commentary . . . and that is paid for by subscribers and advertisers. The information they are collecting is used both for the advertisers, which pays for the content, and for deciding on what content to put on websites. So if the population is suddenly a lot of 92 year old Chileans. . .

  3. jack white Says:

    Here, here, Steve. I like to list an income in the highest bracket and then report my profession as a clerk.

  4. Nick Says:

    http://schweitn.blogspot.com/2004/08/web-readers-are-supposedly-men.html

    I’ll go one step further. Being a Software Engineer, I commonly have to deal with customers that are having problems with systems. One of the more common problems I face is what I call the “Make It Go Away Syndrome”. This is where an error message pops up on the screen, and the user will simply click Ok, or Cancel, without even looking at the message or writing it down, just to make it go away. Could this not be happening when it comes to online registration forms? Even if users aren’t trying to lie, they might just be filling in the bare minimum to continue. Since your sex is usually presented in a drop down combo box, with male usually being the first choice, a woman who just wants to get past the form may not change the setting, fill in the other required boxes, and click ok. Suddenly she is a man to that website collecting statistics.

  5. erp Says:

    Is there a BugMeNot page? Sorry I’m a very linear thinker.

  6. Vilmos Soti Says:

    > They are giving us something valuable . .
    > news, information, commentary . . . and
    > that is paid for by subscribers and
    > advertisers. The information they are
    > collecting is used both for the advertisers,
    > which pays for the content, and for
    > deciding on what content to put on
    > websites. So if the population is
    > suddenly a lot of 92 year old Chileans. . .

    This is not the problem. I don’t care if they collect viewing statistics so they can figure out what the *POPULATION* is interested in. That is a legitimate business need. After all, they somehow want to figure out what’s hot and what’s not. However, I do have a problem when different ad agencies (doubleclick, for example) track *MY* viewing habits across sites. This is a serious invasion on my privacy.

    Here is an excellent article which describes a serious privacy problem:
    http://slashdot.org/yro/99/10/22/0249212.shtml

    By providing personal information, and connecting my general viewing habits with data http://slashdot.org/yro/99/10/22/0249212.shtmlfrom doubleclick, it is pretty easy to build a personal profile with actual data.

    For erp: The BugMeNot is http://www.bugmenot.com.

    Vilmos

  7. enormous iNCoNgrUiTieS Says:

    Whose cookies are in my cookie jar

    Cookies are out of control.

  8. Cybrludite Says:

    Heh. My usual choice for an e-mail address when I’m registering online somewere that doesn’t have an actual e-mail confirmation is sithlord@deathstar.mil

  9. Eric the .5b Says:

    I usually use “laexaminer”, “laexaminer”, which works at pretty much every news site out there.

  10. jack white Says:

    Now that I am totally shit-faced, the proper response to your query seems all too obvious:

    Who would give an honest answer (and why would someone, who replied sincerely), be of interest?

    Do I hear the faint sound of chainsaws, no, telemarketers, in the distance?

    Who would give an honest answer?

  11. null Says:

    Check this out:

    http://bugmenot.com/register.php

    Sums it up nicely, no?

  12. Jim R Says:

    Sites requiring registration usually come with an Agreement you are ask to read and agree to regarding use of information you provide.

    You may even be allowed to opt out of all use of information and still
    register and enter the site.

    If no Agreement is provided describing use, or non-use of your information, I would say this site is fair game for providing false information.

    However, if the site does provide an Agreement describing use of information, then they are being up front with you and you should be up-front with them if you want what they are providing on their site.

    If you don’t like their Agreement,
    then don’t agree and leave their site. If a person or company is decent and up-front with you, you owe them the same.

  13. fred Says:

    I particularly like the last few questions on the http://bugmenot.com/register.php

    page.

    “Have you ever contemplated overthrow of a government?”

    “I consent to having this information sold to the highest bidder on eBay.”

    Nice. I’d copy that registration form for my website, if I had a website. See I respect your privacy so much, I won’t even have a website to track your websurfing on.

  14. furious_a Says:

    Will:

    Then pony up the four bits for a newstand copy ad quit using their product for free, ya’cheapskate.

    –furious

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