Browse Prior Art Database

Information Exchange Service Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015232D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Sep-14
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue



This publication describes a business idea around the distribution of information in exchange for information about the receiver.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 28% of the total text.

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Information Exchange Service

    This publication describes a business idea around the distribution of information in exchange for information about the receiver.

State of the art

    On many web sites in the Internet today users can find valuable information. This may be plain data to read, detailed product information in special presentation formats or program code for download. Some information is available freely. Other information is restricted to known users or to a small group of users. In these cases there is usually some form of authentication required before the information is passed to the user. For example companies often want to receive some personal information about the user before providing some service, giving away detailed information about products, or offering evaluation versions of program code for download.

    The process during which the user makes available the personal data which is requested from him is called registration. This registrations process is usually implemented by presenting a form and requesting the user to fill in a set of required data
(e.g. name, e-mail address, zip code) and some additional data. The additional data is often used to generate a user profile and to compute statistics about the typical users being registered.

    After the registration process the user is forwarded to another web page where the restricted information is available. If the user is granted access more than once some identification information is passed to the user for later reference. This may be a browser cookie, a userid and password, an e-mail with the requested information or a secret URL.

    If the user does not want to receive information from a specific information provider where he once registered there is often a method to unsubscribe. However commercial information providers often do not offer such a possibility and often keep the user data. Most commercial content providers also ask for permission to send future information via mail or e-mail during the registration process. Often this additional information is not appreciated by the users (spaming).

    The process described above requires the user to give away some valuable information. The data is valuable to commercial content providers because it allows them to target specific user groups when marketing a new product. For example if a new product is introduced all users that have requested information about the previous version of a product or a similar product may be notified and receive an e-mail with advertises the new product (direct marketing). Any information that is sent to the user without an explicit preceding request is what we herein consider pushed data.


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    This publication describes a method that allows users to pass various levels of personal data to an information provider in exchange for access to information. The user can keep full control over the amount of personal data disclosed to the information provider. The information is passe...