[Politech] Reason magazine cover story has unusual privacy theme [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Apr 06 2004 - 15:34:53 PDT

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    [Disclaimer: I was involved with the Reason article. --Declan]
    Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover
    Published: April 5, 2004
    When the 40,000 subscribers to Reason, the monthly libertarian magazine, 
    receive a copy of the June issue, they will see on the cover a satellite 
    photo of a neighborhood - their own neighborhood. And their house will 
    be graphically circled.
    On one level, the project, sort of the ultimate in customized 
    publishing, is unsurprising: of course a magazine knows where its 
    subscribers live. But it is still a remarkable demonstration of the 
    growing number of ways databases can be harnessed. Apart from the cover 
    image, several advertisements are customized to reflect the recipient's 
    Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason, said the magazine, with an 
    editorial mission of "Free Minds, Free Markets,'' used the stunt to 
    illustrate the cover article about the power and importance of databases.
    "Our story is man bites dog," Mr. Gillespie said. "Everybody, including 
    our magazine, has been harping on the erosion of privacy and the fears 
    of a database nation. It is a totally legit fear. But they make our 
    lives unbelievably easier as well, in terms of commercial transactions, 
    credit, you name it."
    Rodger Cosgrove, president of Entremedia, a direct marketing firm and a 
    member of Reason's board, assisted in coming up with a program that 
    allows the subscriber list to be integrated with satellite photographs. 
    He also worked with Xeikon, the manufacturer of the printer that made 
    the endless customization possible.
    ----- End forwarded message -----
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