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(The Atlantic)   Expectant couple shocked to learn that somehow, companies knew of their impending parenthood and began sending them baby product catalogs   (theatlantic.com) divider line 72
    More: Scary, astronomical catalog, real evidence  
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6748 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Apr 2013 at 10:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-19 12:31:27 AM
Old news is old.

Think carefully and use cash if you don't want to be profiled.
 
2013-04-19 12:32:55 AM

TV's Vinnie: Then what's YOUR explanation as to how it happened?



http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figure d- out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/

"[Pole] ran test after test, analyzing the data, and before long some useful patterns emerged. Lotions, for example. Lots of people buy lotion, but one of Pole's colleagues noticed that women on the baby registry were buying larger quantities of unscented lotion around the beginning of their second trimester. Another analyst noted that sometime in the first 20 weeks, pregnant women loaded up on supplements like calcium, magnesium and zinc. Many shoppers purchase soap and cotton balls, but when someone suddenly starts buying lots of scent-free soap and extra-big bags of cotton balls, in addition to hand sanitizers and washcloths, it signals they could be getting close to their delivery date.

As Pole's computers crawled through the data, he was able to identify about 25 products that, when analyzed together, allowed him to assign each shopper a "pregnancy prediction" score. More important, he could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so Target could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy.

One Target employee I spoke to provided a hypothetical example. Take a fictional Target shopper named Jenny Ward, who is 23, lives in Atlanta and in March bought cocoa-butter lotion, a purse large enough to double as a diaper bag, zinc and magnesium supplements and a bright blue rug. There's, say, an 87 percent chance that she's pregnant and that her delivery date is sometime in late August.
"
 
2013-04-19 12:34:23 AM

TV's Vinnie: fusillade762: FunkOut: We all need to confuse them by buying weird shiat. Take that corporations!

Whenever I use my Safeway rewards card I always give them my old San Francisco phone number.


TV's Vinnie: Looks like SOME doctor is sending word back to his pharma company overlords in violation of doctor-patient confidentiality.

Looks like SOME Farker is jumping to odd conclusions without reading TFA.

Then what's YOUR explanation as to how it happened?


Aliens
 
2013-04-19 12:37:04 AM

ikanreed: You'll find this crazy, but I've done software for these companies that do the underlying systems for tracking you(not the actual tracking, just the data structures), and the trackers readily have deals with banks to track the origin of bills by scanning the ID codes on them, as they go out of ATMs and out of cash registers. You're still being tracked. The only safe money is money you get from a real person.


Hard to market to you if you only exist as a pattern of withdrawn money.
 
2013-04-19 12:43:15 AM

mikefinch: Easy fix -- dont buy stuff on credit cards all the time and dont ever sign up for a loyalty program unless you are willing to use fake info.


Oh, honey...

You have no idea.
 
2013-04-19 12:49:00 AM

YouPeopleAreCrazy: ZackDanger: Am I the only person that doesn't have a problem with this?

It's nice to live in a time when content (of any type, even marketing) is specifically targeted towards where my interests lie.

I'd much rather a corporation track my habits with the information that I am clearly giving up, then receive ads or promotions for things I'm *never* going to use.

The question is, who else are they selling that data to?
Your health insurance provider?

"Well...lets see. In the last 3 months, ZackD has stopped buying condoms, and has moved in with Shaelyn the stripper."
The insurance premium algorithm requires an 18% price increase.


Yep. This is pretty much why I, for one, have a great deal of problem with it.

I make up for it by having so many random interests I'm virtually off the grid, statistically speaking. Nobody really knows what to do with a 49-year old white female law school grad who plays FPSs, reads "Archaeology" magazine, and buys blue nail polish and pink socks from Target.
 
2013-04-19 12:49:20 AM

TV's Vinnie: fusillade762: FunkOut: We all need to confuse them by buying weird shiat. Take that corporations!

Whenever I use my Safeway rewards card I always give them my old San Francisco phone number.


TV's Vinnie: Looks like SOME doctor is sending word back to his pharma company overlords in violation of doctor-patient confidentiality.

Looks like SOME Farker is jumping to odd conclusions without reading TFA.

Then what's YOUR explanation as to how it happened?


I'm going with TFA:

as it turned out, it was the Christmas gifts. Back in December, we bought our nieces and nephews some gifts. That put a checkmark next to Children's Apparel, Children's Merchandise, and Toys in our database record. Combined with our demographic information, we seemed like a good target to send catalogs of kids' stuff.

I'm not sure why you're trying to spin this into something nefarious.
 
2013-04-19 12:51:26 AM
I once went to a Ford dealer just to see if I could fit in a Ranger truck (I am tall). I couldn't, so I told the sales lady good bye and left. Without me knowing about it, she took down the license plate number on my car. She ran a check for my address, which was a P.O. box and a couple of months later I got a card from her asking if I was still interested in a Ranger. I wrote a nasty letter to the dealer, but never heard back.
 
2013-04-19 12:57:23 AM

Polyhazard: Oh, honey...

You have no idea.


I'mean -- you could go completely off grid but most people wont go for it. Watching your cards is about the only thing most people can do to try to prevent this sort of thing.

Got better ideas that wont make people move out to rural montana and have to crap in an outhouse?
 
2013-04-19 01:00:30 AM

BillyRayBob: I was surprised when my 5 year old son started getting mail for his Prostate Problems.  But I suppose it's my fault for naming him "Stanley".


I used my pets names to sign up for free samples in the mail. My late man cat got some free condoms and a pre-approved credit card (I sure didn't sign him up for those) and I still get the occasional sample of Dove lotions/shampoo for my dear departed girly cat.

/Hmm, I have a new batch of cats now. If only I could sign them up for free samples of beer and steaks...
 
2013-04-19 01:02:04 AM

mikefinch: Polyhazard: Oh, honey...

You have no idea.

I'mean -- you could go completely off grid but most people wont go for it. Watching your cards is about the only thing most people can do to try to prevent this sort of thing.

Got better ideas that wont make people move out to rural montana and have to crap in an outhouse?


No. Guess that's kinda my point. If you're in society, you are tagged, tracked, profiled and aggregated.

There are things you can do to limit your exposure, but there is no "easy fix."
 
2013-04-19 01:03:25 AM

No Such Agency: drongozone:
I remember reading about a couple whose baby died but continued receiving baby product
come-ons in the junk mail.

Wow.  That's awful.

Oddly, we must have avoided this somehow, we've bought a ton of baby stuff with credit cards and we don't get any of this crap.  Maybe it's illegal in Canada.



I'm not an expert, but I'm under the impression Canada has stronger privacy laws.  Meaning the companies don't get the data in the first place.
 
2013-04-19 01:18:59 AM

fusillade762: I'm not sure why you're trying to spin this into something nefarious.


Because we live in a nefarious world. It's easier to buy an AR-15 than condoms in some states, for example.
 
2013-04-19 02:30:31 AM

Thelyphthoric: Why aren't these wizards working with the FBI to solve the Boston Marathon case?


They actually are.

/don't ask how i know this
//the nsa makes marketing genetics look like dumpster divers
///i'm not nsa
 
2013-04-19 02:51:35 AM

WordyGrrl: My late man cat got some free condoms and a pre-approved credit card (I sure didn't sign him up for those)


Santos L Halper?
 
2013-04-19 03:01:46 AM

Polyhazard: No. Guess that's kinda my point. If you're in society, you are tagged, tracked, profiled and aggregated.


You could do what i do.... Get hired by the government for some god forsaken watching jerb... Its isolated sure but i am off grid... I live in places like this over the summer:
4.bp.blogspot.com
or here
postmediacalgaryherald.files.wordpress.com

Your mailing address is a government office a hundred kilometers away and you have no bills (just a paycheck). If you want to buy stuff online i just send mail cash to my friend and use their credit card (yay trust) to order things. And have them sent to a government office...

TRACK ME NOW biatchES...

And yes -- This is my summer home: They changed the cabin with a newer version though.


It takes an hour by helicopter to get there. I get food and water once a month. When i pay for stuff its either by check or cash left back in civilization.

And yes i have to climb that bastard tower a few times every day. The view is nice. Being up there in a thunderstorm will make you shiat yourself though.

Just sayin -- for half the year i am completely off grid and i try to keep my print low during the winter months. Just let them try to track my poor ass through the middle of some of the most remote land south of the arctic circle...
 
2013-04-19 03:04:50 AM
farm3.staticflickr.com

Whups didnt work the first time -- this is my chunk of turf for the summer.
 
2013-04-19 09:02:42 AM
Not only that, if they have a girl, American Girl will find out who the grandparents are and start besieging them with doll catalogs.
 
2013-04-19 09:23:09 AM
Not too long ago we started getting diaper coupons and junk like that.

I was marginally confused, since the youngest has been potty trained.

Then I realized that if we were following our pattern with the second child, she's the same age as the first one was when we got pregnant again.

biatches don't know 'bout my vasectomy.

TAKE THAT GERBER!
 
2013-04-19 10:35:25 AM

Robert1966: Well, buy.


haha
 
2013-04-19 11:52:18 AM
We've been getting free samples of baby formula and coupons in the mail in the last year.  Our youngest is 7 and oldest is 9.  And Mommy & Daddy have been fixed - so no more kids.  We keep heading to the local food bank and donating the formula.
 
2013-04-19 10:57:31 PM

ninotchka: what is terrible is that months after my miscarriage, I got all sorts of free milk and stuff for my baby that was supposed to be due. Was a terrible thing for me to go through. Especially the cards congratulating me on my new baby that was no longer alive.


I had the same thing after my miscarriage last year. The cord blood bank was especially tenacious. Until I threatened to call my lawyer if they didn't quit harassing me, I got calls several times a week from them!
 
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