I have been working on an iOS app that uses iBeacons extensively. I can’t say much about it but because I have been thinking a lot about these unique identifiers (UUIDs) walking around in the real world my brain has been thinking about how these are like browser cookies you wear.

Your Fitbit’s Bluetooth Low Energy UUID is a cookie. Your face is a cookie. Your heartbeat is a cookie. Your eyeball is a cookie. Your phone’s digital footprint is a cookie.

Some of these cookies you can change. Others are obviously permanent. It goes without saying that to have a database of these “cookies” is valuable. To be able to bridge a gap between your face in friend’s photo and your arrival at a store is going to be a real thing that we will experience soon.

Having spent 5 years at an ad network, hell, just running Ghostery is enough to open one’s eyes at the massive amounts of time and money put into setting and retrieving cookies in your browser to build a profile of you.

When that exact hand-mixer you were reading about this weekend shows up as an ad on the NYTimes it seems coincidental and maybe a little creepy but OK. When future store employees greet you by name or you receive an un-acknowledged discount because you’re a valued customer it’s probably going to feel just as creepy but OK. My guess is people won’t really mind it.

Some other links I found: