In response to NPR’s online privacy article

I feel like everything I just read is a bunch of nonsense (then again, I’m barely literate).  At its current stage, the “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” is only voluntary.  I doubt any internet company would “voluntarily” join a pact that could more than likely put a dent in their revenue.  Online companies won’t start handling user information responsibly until legislation is passed enforcing them to.

The urge to post some Rockwell was too strong!

I recently saw a segment on the Colbert Report about how closely Target monitors customer information.  Colbert explained that Target uses data analysis to review what women buy from their stores and then predict, many times correctly, that those women are pregnant.    Target then chooses online ads appropriate for expecting women, displaying things such as strollers, vitamin supplements, baby clothes, etc.  Many people are understandably shocked by Target’s insane scrutiny of its customers’ information, but I ask why???

How many times have you aimlessly browsed Walmart or Amazon only to get pissed off because you can’t decide what to buy?  With the way technology is evolving, those days are over – stores like Target will review your personal info and make those decisions for you.  And there are some instances where this kind of scrutiny would come in handy.  Take the pregnant woman story as an example.  If my significant other was pregnant, I’d have no damn clue what to buy her – it’s not like they give you instructions for these types of things!  That’s why Target’s customized ad spots would be there to guide me down the right purchasing path.

"Hmmm. Yellow stuff or green stuff?.... Fuck."

I think the liberal use of customer information could really become a good thing for both corporations and consumers.  I honestly lay awake at night hoping for the day when I can bump my head and, minutes later, my trustly friends from Walgreens will have Tylenol delivered straight to my door.  That would be the sweet life.

So I say let them monitor my online activity!  I’ll gladly surrender some personal privacy in exchange for less hassle in my everyday life.  And I commend any company brave enough to follow my online activity – that has got to be a disturbing job.


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