Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Privacy and capriciousness

I wrote the following post a few minutes ago, but have since found out that in fact an email was sent to Bain and Company. The reason I was mentioned is that they are the company I am going to be talking to in a conference call later today. My colleague Oliver Harrison had asked me yesterday if I would take part in the call but did not say which company would be on the call. I am letting this post stand so that we can see if the people I am talking to later have triggered on this post. If nothing else it should be amusing.

Original post follows:

I just noticed some web-evidence (webidence?)that someone from Bain and Company had received an email about me and had followed it up by having a quick look. The evidence is not conclusive but is highly suggestive. It is certain that someone from within that company has been looking at me online, and the way in which they have done this suggests they were prompted by an email. As I have mentioned elsewhere the information available on the web is really quite startling. I find myself tempted to contact Bain and Company and offer more information. I imagine this would have a couple of effects if I got the information to the right person:

1) It would make them feel that big brother was watching them and so understand the privacy concerns some people feel about the Internet.
2) It would make them feel that I was good at what I do, at least in the context of web monitoring.

Neither of these seem bad things. A third effect that it would have is that it would amuse me. Taken together these are almost enough to make it worth the bother of trying to find the right person, or at least broadcasting the information throughout their company so that it is heard. Almost enough but not quite.

Instead of making that effort I have decided to leave this to chance. If they are the sort of company they present themselves as being then at least one person from Bain and Company will have a Google alert set up on the company name. They will then see this posting and will either comment or not. If they are not as switched on as they seem they will never know that I noticed them passing.

Rufus Evison