Build an insights-driven org

Understanding “Creepiness”

Fatemeh Khatibloo
Principal Analyst
December 3, 2015

We've all felt it: a weird sense that information about you has been used in a way that just doesn't feel right.

Maybe you received a kids apparel catalog at your decidedly DINK home. Or maybe you saw an online ad at home for a product you'd been looking at from your work computer earlier that day. Or, perhaps your mobile device pinged when you walked into a store to tell you about specials for that store – even though your location settings were turned off.

Many of us in the privacy world have a strong dislike of the word "creepy" because it can't be quantified. And, practically-speaking, it's rather useless because what's "creepy" to one person might well be "useful" to another.

I'm working on research to quantify what we mean when we say something is "creepy," and to categorize the types of incidents that cause people to feel it. That means I need examples – lots of them. And I need your help.

If you've had a creepy marketing, advertising, or customer service experience, won't you please take a moment to tell us about it?

We've set up a short 8-question survey that you can complete anonymously, if you prefer. Your contribution will help us understand how we experience creepiness, and help us educate companies about how not to be creepy!

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