Beware suppliers offering juicy Web-based, one-to-one, drill-down customer relationship management solutions.
I saw one demo in the US recently of a corporate front-end Web system that enticed visitors from standard Web news services. It then analysed them by frequency of visit, the time they logged in, and umpteen other criteria, to build up personalised profiles and behaviour patterns upon which inferences were built.
One South African bank I know goes further. In addition to this sort of approach, it also supplies its best customers with mobile phones. This allows the bank to link financial transaction information with a geographical information system to plot exactly where customers were when they made those transactions. It's then but a small step to corral them where they want them.
I've even heard that in the US anyone can, for a price, map criminal records and credit reference details onto that sort of data.
When getting the sales spiel on such capabilities, don't forget that the key issue we face in this area, often blithely overlooked, is data protection. Systems capabilities now far surpass the social, political and moral limitation societies place on their use. It's not that these systems don't work - it's that they are now beginning to work only too well.