From: Jaime Garchitorena
Date: Tue, May 5, 2009 at 10:03 AM
Subject: A friendly warning about SMARTs AKO MISMO campaign
I hope you forgive this unsolicited email. AS a member of a youth group youthvotephilippines (www.youthvotephilippines.com), I try to stay on top of campaigns that are targeted to the youth. Last Sunday a very slick ad campaign was launched during the manny pacquiao fight. The AKO MISMO campaign had all the hallmarks of a potentially far reaching youth campaign; actors, celebrities, religious figures, testimonials, heroic rhetoric, good musical scoring and all of this all wrapped in a tidy ad campaign.
I browsed this site yesterday www.akomismo.org and discovered some disturbing things.
Knowing that you may have youth groups of your own who may want to or already have "joined" AKO MISMO, I would like to ask you to read this warning and pass it on if you feel it is appropriate.
Thank you for your indulgence and apologies if inappropriate.
To all those that signed up with AKO MISMO!
You are now part of SMART telecoms network for potential campaigns in 2010.
In all my years of signing up for information I have never had a site require so much information AS REQUIRED FIELDS. The amount of information they have asked is so detailed that they can track you down to your zip code and contact you any time.
This makes for a perfect voter mapping database and campaign tool for anyone that wants to pay SMART for the information.
Did you think SMART would pay MILLIONS in production and advertising and talent costs for nothing?
AKO MISMO MAY use the personal information you provide to:
"Contact you" either in response to a query or suggestion, or to mail newsletters, documents, publications, etc.
"Remember" your online profile and preferences;
"Help you" quickly find information that is relevant to you based on your interests, and help us create site contents most relevant to you;
In other words the can PUSH information to you which is an important tool in making sure that you can receive even unwanted campaign messages.
"Undertake" statistical analysis. They can use your answers to this PUSH for other mapping and trending purposes.
AKO MISMO shall not be liable under any circumstances for damages resulting from unauthorized use of information collected from visitors to the site.
What if I don't want to provide personal information?
Providing personal information on the AKO MISMO web site is optional. If you choose not to provide personal information, you can still browse and use the AKO MISMO site, but you will not be able to carry out certain actions.
This is not true. None of the pages are viewable unless you have signed in. This is already a sure sign that their intent is to make you sign up and not just to make you a part of a youth reform activity.
A friendly piece of advice: Go back to the site and change your details please change all the details that pertain to AGE, SEX, and, LOCATION.
Also change your phone number if you like. This is to protect your privacy.
And remember, you are still holding on to your pledge of participation in making our country great, and they promise not to bar you from accessing the site even if you change your details, so you will lose nothing but you will take back your security.
Please pass to all the people you know who may have signed up.
Ingat lang tayo po sa mga ganito.
I have only one thing to say. Ang galing mo talaga, Manny Pangilinan!
Btw, since Jaime came out in the open criticizing the Ako Mismo campaign and the way its organizers are gathering information (see previous blog entry), visitors to the web site can now access information on who's behind the campaign (DDB, the advertising firm that handles PLDT/Smart), the FAQs, and the "Contact Us" page, even if one doesn't sign up.
As of 9:57 pm tonight, there have 62,796 "pledges" since Sunday. That's an average of over 20,000 signing up every day for the past three days. Not bad, MVP. As they say, there's one ahem, born every minute.