This Yahoo news intrigued me, mostly because "data mining" has always been very alluring to me.
This said, I doubt I'd fit the ideal profile as a user: I do not choose where to go based on who's there; I am too independent to let people know where I plan on going/already am (mind your business, would ya?!), and I do not frequent bars regularly. I am much more likely to chat and network with my social kins at a swimming pool, at other watery venues, or at a business event.
The article, however, also mentions the idea of applying the same logic (planning where to be based on who's going to be there) to air travel. Now, that's compelling! I love flying and also enjoy the serendipity of not knowing whom you'll sit next to. But if it's going to be a 12-hr flight by a screaming baby, or by someone who has not showered much lately, please do let me plan my trip based on my most probable neighbours!
"Social mining" presents curious opportunities; it is still about processing and selectively using data; its applications may just seem more personal or intrusive, but they could have positive potential toward making social interactions more comfortable when we are in close quarters.
...this is nothing!
Wait until they develop a smartphone app that can take a picture of you, digitalize your face, run a visual search on all social networks, and return your complete profile nicely compiled with all the info you volunteered online over the years (the fact that you don't see some of it anymore doesn't mean it isn't still in some database, somewhere).
They did already develop that ("for research only", "to prove a point", yada-yada-yada...).
Come and discuss all the implications of this at BAIA's event The Economics of Privacy on May 17 in Palo Alto.
Giorgio, indeed, a must-attend BAIA event! To shield from potential ID-capturing photo/biometrics devices I suggest wearing glasses, earrings, after-shave ... loaded with nanobeads that make facial/personal recognition bounce off the subject!