Comments on: Target, Google, and privacy A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: tiz450s Tue, 03 Apr 2012 00:20:30 +0000 I came home from work today and openend my mail and there is was “Congrat’s on saying I do” from target. I’m fuming! I’m not only 31yr old single female but I get enough hype that I’m still single and then have to come home to relax and I get slapped in the face by Target. If anyone has names at Target who I can contact I would love to know. I’m a marketing manager for a digital analytics company and I know more about privacy and what online information companies have access to but this is crossing the line when you offend people with your marketing materials!

By: elpasoelchuco Thu, 23 Feb 2012 02:28:51 +0000 Why shouldn’t people be allowed a right of privacy? Because you don’t consider it necessary for yourself? Sorry, but that line of reasoning doesn’t deserve the platform afforded by Reuters. If you want to receive the benefits of exposure, great. How in the world do you get from that to deciding for someone else whether or not they should have a right to privacy? There might be an argument in opposition to the “right to be forgotten,” but you didn’t make it.

By: MidwestVoice Tue, 21 Feb 2012 17:23:10 +0000 I believe that Felix completely misses the boat on this one! The concern is not that Company A knows you buy 2% milk and if you buy a home pregnancy test, might send you a coupon for diapers. The concern is that Company A will sell this information – without your knowledge and consent – to any and all who will pay for it; the concern is that it will be used by insurance companies to deny your policy application because they have learned that your dad takes blood pressure meds or your brother suffers from depression, both of which run in families so you could be at higher risk. The employer that may deny employment, or impede advancement, because of personal information they bought from a third party data collection service without your knowledge.

Consumer credit scores are already used to increase car insurance premiums even for existing customers with no infractions and for increases in homeowner insurance where there is no claim or increased risk except a change in credit rating (as defined by the same agencies that gave AAA ratings to the sliced and diced sub-prime mortgages and have been notorious for years for keeping inaccurate data on file). Many consumers do not even know that each time they go to the doctor, the data on their diagnosis and treatment goes to a medical reporting company that keeps this information on file about them to release to any future insurance company. Your so-called private health information is anything BUT private!

Data is already being mined and used in too many ways that are not fair or in the best interest of the individuals, but are purely to increase corporate profit. Americans need to wake up soon to these ever growing concerns or in another generation or so, forever lose any semblance of freedom.

By: BrendaTNYC Sat, 18 Feb 2012 14:48:15 +0000 I take a certain pleasure in confirming my suspicion that with every coupon, click, and convenience, comes intrusion. It really adds to my confusion as to people’s concerns with Facebook. Privacy, for better or worse, has been permanently redefined. I natter more here: dentifiedf-acebooko-bjections/

By: BrendaTNYC Sat, 18 Feb 2012 14:48:09 +0000 I take a certain pleasure in confirming my suspicion that with every coupon, click, and convenience, comes intrusion. It really adds to my confusion as to people’s concerns with Facebook. Privacy, for better or worse, has been permanently redefined. I natter more here: dentifiedf-acebooko-bjections/

By: SarahRL Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:16:04 +0000 I am single with no children. I buy baby items all the time at Target for nieces and friends. I have never received anything in the mail that made me uncomfortable or suggested to the world that I am pregnant. I have certainly never received anything that said “Congratulations on your new baby!” If I did receive such a mailer, it would also not make me feel “outed.” It’s a piece of mail.

Every time I buy something, I’m giving information to the retailer about my buying preferences. This is true whether it’s digital information or not. Back in the ‘good old days’ the town grocer and dry goods store owner knew everything about everyone’s buying preferences. That information was also used at the shop owner’s discretion. I don’t really see my purchasing habits as private information.

By: Moopheus Fri, 17 Feb 2012 14:55:04 +0000 This is one of the reasons that when I have to go into one of these places, I pay cash. No name, no number, no Guest ID. I don’t want them to send me any fliers and coupons or offers, no matter how targeted. I know what’s in the store. I don’t want to be assaulted with a constant barrage of marketing materials jamming my mailbox with pleas to buy a lot of crap I don’t really need.

By: TinyTim1 Fri, 17 Feb 2012 10:11:56 +0000 “The ability to tell when you’re pregnant, before you have your child…”

Generally while you are pregnant, you haven’t had the child yet. It’s kind of binary.
Unless you meant, “before you have your FIRST child”.
In which case, say that.

I like this direct marketing.
Before I signed up to a bunch of helpful online retailers, I never realised the astonishing level of vouchering, couponing, sales, special deals etc…
Has it made me buy more?
I don’t THINK so, although to be honest I couldn’t be sure.
However, for consumables such as food, drink, cycling equipment etc… it has certainly made me buy cheaper.

By: mfw13 Fri, 17 Feb 2012 09:29:48 +0000 What people take issue with isn’t the collection of data, per se, it’s the use of the data in ways which they have not knowingly consented to (given how most corporations have virtually unreadbale consent statements and are opt-out rather than opt-in), such as being shared with other entities other than that which originally collected the data. After all, it’s only the confluence of data through sharing among various entities that allows corporations and/or government entities to draw a complete and accurate picture of a person’s personal habits and activities.

If the worst thing that ever happens to me because of the lack of governmental protections for my privacy is that I get bombarded with ads from various corporations trying to sell me stuff, I will consider myself very fortunate. Given how easy these databases supposedly are to hack, I’m much more worried about my identity being stolen, and/or infomation about me and my family being intentionally or inadvertantly being made public that we intended to remain private.

IMHO, the bigger danger is the proliferation of GPS chips in devices….between your car and your cellphone, it wouldn’t be too difficult for the government or anyone else to track your movements, especially if combined with tracking of your credit cards.

Imagine, for example, what would happen to a teacher or coach who was discovered by parents at their school to buy porn or sex toys online, engage in BDSM, or frequent strip clubs…they almost certainly would lose their jobs and likely have their careers ruined despite doing nothing wrong, never mind being excellent targets for blackmailers in the meantime.

The danger isn’t just the collection of such data, it’s the fact that due to weak laws and mediocre database security, it may inadvertantly fall into the hands of people who have no business knowing about it.

By: realist50 Fri, 17 Feb 2012 04:31:52 +0000 I read an interview with Jonathan Schwartz, former Sun CEO, earlier this week where he was commenting negatively on the Google/Facebook model where a service is free to users with money made from advertising. He was talking the book of his current company, CareZone, but he has a point. There’s a certain conflict for a company when the user, specifically the user’s information, is the product and the real customer is the advertiser paying to target that user based on the user’s information.

One implication is that I think services like Facebook will develop into freemium models that offer a choice – a pay service in which no user info is provided to advertisers and a free service in which user info is used to target ads. Revenue per user for Facebook is low enough that the economics could work.

Another implication is that this privacy issue is another reason why “free” software (e.g., GoogleDocs) won’t displace pay software in enterprises. Set aside questions of robustness and support – a company would rather pay a couple hundred bucks per seat for Office than rely on reassurances from the Googles of the world, whose business model is finding value in the data it collects about users, that they will protect users’ confidential business information.