Build-a-Bear Builds its Database

Build-a-Bear Workshop is cutting-edge as well as cuddly. I previously remarked on it as an example of mass customization.

Now we see that BaB is treading that line between gathering information and invading privacy. Denise Howell (lawyer and blogger, via BB Cory) describes the process of getting a birth certificate for a new-built bear.

Before their new friend can get its birth certificate, the kids are prompted to enter a host of very personal personal information: birth date, home address, gender, phone, and email among them.

Denise saw parent after parent helping their kids provide this information, some of them “the same parents driving themselves to distraction with fear over their evening chardonnays about MySpace and FaceBook.” Picking up on that Facebook reference, it seems that the Bear can be more seductive than the Beacon.

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