Consumers transmit information to firms in convenient, machine-readable form. This is often in a format which can be tabulated easily. Consumers also receive a fair amount of machine readable tabular data, but it generally comes in much less detail. For example, a supermarket "loyalty" card transmits every line on your grocery receipt, whereas an online statement from a consumer credit or debit card generally includes just the bottom line of that receipt. The data lode keyed to the shopping card has a lot of people feeling very vulnerable concerning their privacy. To further the cause of privacy, they advocate practices and often policies aimed at restricting the flow of information from consumers to firms. If they succeed, not only will the cause of privacy be advanced, but also the idea that information exchanges should be equitable. Of course, the concern about information exchanges could also be addressed by increasing the net flow of information from firms to consumers. Pubwan seeks to address this concern by wholesale merging of consumer-collected tables of retail market data. Think of it as transmitting business intelligence outside the business community. Or a C2C (consumer to consumer) data mining operation. Not surprisingly, pubwan always welcomes volunteers.

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