After about a decade of discussion and failed initiatives the "online identity" issue was finally solved when Microsoft bought Twitter. Since then 80% of the internet population uses their Twitter-name to log on to their e-mail, the online version of Microsoft Office and all other websites based on Microsoft technology. "@myname" has become the new universal way to identify people, and now we can use online banking applications with it, consult healthcare data and get access the popular events such as the MTV awards.

Shortly thereafter Microsoft rolled out the first real behaviour-based promotion campaign for Axe, the popular deodorant by Unilever. A sharp target group was defined: single heterosexual males aged between 16 and 32 with an average household income of +- 32% around the median of the their country. Those who live within a 50 kilometer radius of a shop that carries Axe in their assortment were by means of Twitter involved in the biggest sampling action ever. The campaign was a huge success, 100 million consumers were thrilled and had themselves spoiled by Axe.

Shortly after the campaign went live, President Obama expressed his concern about the privacy aspects of these new marketing techniques. To avoid that Microsoft would abuse their newly acquired power, they were forced to sell 25% of their shares at a reduced price to the United Nations, which means they acquire total control over the company.

In the meantime a once leading worldwide media group has sold the majority of their shares to Microsoft in an ultimate attempt to avoid bankruptcy. All publications were migrated to a new digital media-store that is only accessible through Windows-based tablet computers and e-readers.

Facebook continued their succes and were the only real online power standing up to the Microsoft-Twitter tandem. But success took its toll. The company was forced to open up their databases to the European Union after a terrorist attack whereby European President Herman Van Rompuy only just escaped from death. The "European Defence Agency" invested in startup company Attentio and uses their technology to permanently monitor potentially dangerous activities on Facebook.

Now that privacy online seems to have totally disappeared, the geek-community is looking for ways to stay in contact online but out of sight of Big Brother. Read more about the result of this quest in upcoming articles ...

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