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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weird - Businesses being able to know information about people before family members

A couple of years back, there was a story about how a researcher had a challenge; how to identify a person based on their search patterns. After all, what a person searches for reveals to some extent clues to a person, and putting together all the details for a person in terms of their search helped the researcher get details of the person, to the extent that the actual person was identified by the researcher.
There is a lot of hoopla about privacy details, with the amount of details being recorded by search engines, social networks such as Facebook, and online stores that are integrated with these search engines; but the normal citizen is not so worried about such details. Read the details of this story, which worried the giant store Target so much that they tried to stop the details of this story from emerging (link to article):

Every time you go shopping, you share intimate details about your consumption patterns with retailers. And many of those retailers are studying those details to figure out what you like, what you need, and which coupons are most likely to make you happy. Target, for example, has figured out how to data-mine its way into your womb, to figure out whether you have a baby on the way long before you need to start buying diapers.
What Target discovered fairly quickly is that it creeped people out that the company knew about their pregnancies in advance.
One can be sure that it sounds creepy.

Online Privacy (Issues in the Digital Age)Online Privacy: A Reference HandbookPrivacy Lost: How Technology Is Endangering Your Privacy

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