“Every time you walk through their doors, they’re studying you. By figuring out your habits, they can create a customized marketing campaign that will convince you to give them even more of your money. Essentially, they're training us.”
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) March 13, 2012
Cell phone apps, security cameras and email-scanning software are just a few of the ways major businesses like Target and Google are studying and tracking your buying habits, according to a leading consumer awareness site, CreditCardAssist.com. America’s largest superstores and service providers are analyzing a mountain of secretly recorded data in order to understand how consumers form and change their spending habits. A new report by CreditCardAssist.com discusses these invasive practices in depth and reveals that low prices are costing Americans the one thing they can’t afford to lose – their privacy.
“The process of analyzing large volumes of personal information to learn how a customer thinks is known as data mining, and it’s the reason superstores know you better than your own family,” says CreditCardAssist.com CEO Bill Hazelton. “Every time you walk through their doors, they’re studying you. By figuring out your habits, they can create a customized marketing campaign that will convince you to give them even more of your money. Essentially, they're training us.”
Target knows if a woman is pregnant, and it can predict her due date with 87% accuracy by studying her buying patterns. The company then uses this data to launch pre-emptive marketing campaigns featuring discounts for diapers, maternity clothes and other necessities. According to a Target statistician, “As long as a pregnant woman thinks she hasn’t been spied on, she’ll use the coupons.” Meanwhile, Google shows unique banner ads to every user based on keywords harvested from the user's own searches and emails.
Though data mining is still in its infancy, Hazelton is concerned that such constant surveillance could be dangerous if left unchecked. “I don’t think I’m the only one who’s creeped out,” he says. “There’s no legislation in place to tell these stores when they’ve gone too far. They can even monitor your cell phone through an app, as long as you accept the service agreement. Except nobody reads the long legalese service agreements. We need to set boundaries.”
Since founding CreditCardAssist.com in 2004, Bill Hazelton has been a staunch advocate for consumer rights. Under his guidance, the finance blog has grown into one of the leading credit resources on the Internet. Its on-site reports have been cited by the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Post, Yahoo! News and more.
To learn more about CreditCardAssist.com or to schedule an interview, please contact Jasmine Davis at 310-621-5048 or email jasmine (at) contentfac (dot) com. The entire report can be viewed at CreditCardAssist.com