What price would you be willing to pay for a free phone call? It’s a strange question I know, but if
has its way, it’s one to which people are going to have to give some serious thought.
The company is behind a service similar to ones like Skype that allow you to make phone calls using your computer. However instead of charging you for the privilege, Pudding Media will let you talk as much as you want for free in exchange for you allowing them to listen in on your conversations with voice recognition software so they can serve you advertising based on what you’re talking about. So if you talk about cars with your brother, you’ll see ads for car dealers in your area. If you talk about music with your sister, you’ll be shown commercials for the hottest new releases. Talking about flowers with your mother? Get ready for flower shops and gardening tips, and on and on and on. The company is even working on ways to deliver ads to the person on the other end of the call, either through what would have to be considered spam email or by using that person’s cell phone screen as its own personal billboard.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Who are the people that Pudding Media is expecting to sign up for this service? Are they marketing to the
set who doesn’t give a thought to the privacy of their activities? Other than them, I can’t think of a single reasonable person who would be down with this idea, especially given all of the controversy over unauthorized government surveillance these days. If we don’t want the government listening in on us, why should a marketing firm be any different, even if they’re giving something away at no financial cost?
If you can afford the computer and internet connection that are required to make services like this work, then you can damn sure pay a few bucks to make a phone call, and you should. In the long run, whatever the cost might be will be a lot cheaper than the price you’ll pay for selling yourself as well as your friends and family out to companies who have no qualms about using you and your personal information in any way necessary to make themselves rich.