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I actually talked to a lobbyist that said profiling was being used by Pro-life groups buying information such as this. They were going after people that had not even told families that they were pregnant.
damn isn't that a violation of privacy?
are they also using the pre-natal drug
prescriptions at their chemist counter?
That is exactly why I pay cash as often as I can... All companies track this data and then sell it to everyone that wants it and then I end up with more junk mail to shred.
We are all WAY TOO CONNECTED, in every way.
Right, Purchase patterns that are linked to credit card numbers.
Yeah... That's creepy. I already knew about it, but it just hadn't been put into a neatly assembled creepy factor for me.
I haven't trusted retailers since the first time my receipt at Best Buy had something along the lines of "Signature on File, no Signature required" for a monitor purchase that was about $300. I raised a stink with the store manager, and then turned around and returned to monitor. FTR, That was the one and only time I ever saw that on a receipt. It just upset my quite a bit, the cashier didn't even look at my ID, although now days, if you already have it out, most of them dont.
Thanks for the post.
That is incredible.
Time to go out and buy lots of unscented lotion and cotton buds then sit back and wait for my milk powder coupons..
Something like that doesn't really infringe on privacy policies as it's maintained within the store's own marketing. Of course they outsource the marketing so that's another company who can sell your info, and there are many other loopholes. I rarely use a CC so when I do it never fails that I'll get spam from unrelated online stores and mail advertizing similar products. The information is definitely being shared. It's amazing.
This is definitely a reason to not shop online and not use credit or debit cards. It's pretty hard to trace you if you use cash.
its not just retail store that do this. as a result of 9/11 there has been the creation of a program/service called Nexus Lexus that compiles all kinds of information on you. The program has some strict guidelines as to who can use it but its still out there gathering info on you from all kinds of sources. One thin in particular is the public records, go to and type in your name and see how it associates you with other people you may live with. The Nexus Lexus program has records of just about every person in the united states, maybe more, and can trace every time your social security has been used. The primary sources going into your social are items like when you get utilities in your name. Tracking spending and purchase habits has been apart of our lives for years without our knowledge.
<--- Proud un-pregnant recipient of a Target Baby Registry catalog. Their algorithim isn't always accurate, but it's a little creepy nonetheless.
It is not just is everywhere ....once you swiped that cards is scary
I think its time to bring in laws about this kind of information mining. I will have to go back to paying cash for everything, and using alias' online.
I understand the 'OMG they're tracking my information!' and the queasiness about using it to predict future needs, but, just to play devil's advocate... if they're not selling it, and they are simply sending coupons to encourage you to continue to shop somewhere you clearly already spend your money, how much harm is really being done? (Assuming you're not buying gasoline, fertilizer, and nails in unnecessarily large quantities)
There was a great book that dealt with something like this, Feed by MT Anderson. While being incredibly depressing in it's own right, both for the story and many of the ideas, the issue of targeted advertising is tackled rather well.
Um... You guys do realize there's a super-easy way to circumvent this by using one number for 3+ people, right? The data is not susceptible to accurate analysis if there's too much noise in it... Come on, people; at best, this is a nontroversy.
I can imagine a fascist government absconding with the data and forcing specific behaviors through public policy legislation. Scary!
Absolutely fascinating. Well played, Target. Well played.
I think this is brilliant! I never imagined that you could connect the dots like that! Wow, simply amazing!
I can understand the 'OMG I'm being tracked' sentiment but reading this I couldn't help but wander if there is a way to link multiple stores loyalty cards so they could correlate the info and offer to sell me even stuff I didn't even know I needed.
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