I just read a pretty cool article about How Companies Learn Your Secrets. The story arc is about how Target figures out women are pregnant to target marketing. It includes quite a bit about habits and statistics. A couple months ago I was thinking back to before I had a kid when it was super easy to go to the store. Now it takes all kinds of work. I thought that was just because I had to haul a kid around, but apparently there’s a lot more going on with my habits at this life change.
Also, there’s some vaguely disturbing information about how much data is collected about me. I’m not particularly bothered by that, it’s more of an interesting thing to me.
Target claims there are a lot of inaccuracies in the story, but refused to meet with the reporter. It appears to be reasonably reliable, and at least a peek into what are typically tightly-held trade secrets.
It’s a pretty long article, but worth the read.