Retail Surveillance

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in Advertising, Insight

When does gathering demographic, purchasing and even personal information become overly intrusive on privacy? What may be eerily intrusive to one may be within reason to others. But, thanks to the likes of whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, Americans in general are becoming a bit more wary of the ways corporations and governments gather, store and use data.

This type of technology certainly poses opportunity for directly-targeted advertisements, particularly at the point of sale, but there are a multiplicity of issues revolving around the type of information gathered, how it is stored and later used that could cause many to become skeptical of the tactics and gathering in the first place.

Those familiar with statistics are aware of the power of massive data-sets and the conclusions that can be drawn from proper data interpretation. “Business Intelligence” is set to become a force in the next wave of enterprise information products geared toward corporations. A good friend who works for Amazon uses statistical analysis to target specific products to individual users based on correlations between products. That is, if you bought this, then you’re most likely to buy that. The possibilities in a retail setting are just as prolific, but technologists walk a fine line between crafty and creepy.

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