May 06, 2009

More on Ako Mismo: Let's hear it from Jaime

(Forwarded by Jessica)

From: Jaime Garchitorena
Date: Tue, May 5, 2009 at 10:03 AM
Subject: A friendly warning about SMARTs AKO MISMO campaign

Hi All.

I hope you forgive this unsolicited email. AS a member of a youth group youthvotephilippines (, 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 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?

If you refer to their privacy policy that no one ever reads, it states:

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.

They also wash their hands of any person "accidentally" cracking the site and getting all your info. If you read privacy policy, again, which no one reads:

AKO MISMO shall not be liable under any circumstances for damages resulting from unauthorized use of information collected from visitors to the site.

AKO MISMO may change this privacy policy to reflect changes in the way we collect visitor information.

As a final warning, their privacy policy claims that you can still access this site even if you do not sign up (again from the privacy policy page):

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.


Jaime Garchitorena
Edupro (

* * * *

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.


TM™ said...

I also noticed the registration requirements (but I didn't have a voice as large as JG). it's scary. wasn't there a similar precedent: the facebook community speaking out over a recent privacy policy vs. ownership of intellectual property?

some people don't the realize the potential of identity theft - all it takes is a call made by a crook ( using one's personal info) to a credit card call center = fraud.
people flaunt info - email/home addresses, contact numbers, birth dates - the same info secured by CS agents to "confirm" identification prior to accessing one's account.

anyway, some people are laughing at JG's reaction (i've seen sarcastic status messages on FB), but people have to respect the logic more than the politics. it's not wise to be too generous with your information.

Stella Arnaldo said...

Well it's unfortunate that those few people are ridiculing Jaime. Without his complaint, Ako Mismo organizers wouldn't have been more forthcoming about their motives. He did everyone a great service.

Better be safe than sorry.

Thanks for your comment TM™.