How concerned are you about your privacy in regards to companies you do business with? The first linked article describes (in length) how corporations are using data collection and analytics to learn private details about their customers, with a particular emphasis on Target identifying which of its customers are pregnant and sending targeted coupons to those women. The second article highlights one of the more interesting situations that Target encountered, where a father found out that his 16-year old daughter was pregnant only after she received baby-related coupons from the company.
I personally have no problem with companies collecting my data and using it to send me useful coupons or to market stuff they think I want to buy. King Soopers, my grocery store, sends me targeted coupons all the time—and it saves me a good deal of money. But there are a lot of people out there who find this type of thing spooky and a bit frightening. It’s all perfectly legal, but that glimpse into the world of big data analytics is unsettling to many. The third linked article lists additional areas where some institution knows more about you than you may want them to know.