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PRIVACY CONCERNS ACROSS GENERATIONS

Do you realize how much data has been compiled on you, your habits, preferences, purchases and connections? A front page story in the New York Times Business section 6/16/12 (warning: the actual article is a long one) on a little know company, Acxiom, that collects a huge amount of data on consumers in great detail from their use of the web, purchases online, social media sharing, etc.  Here’s the article link  “You for Sale: Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome”

To quote the reporter Natasha Singer “It peers deeper into American life than the F.B.I. or the I.R.S., or those prying digital eyes at Facebook and Google. If you are an American adult, the odds are that it knows things like your age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, buying habits, household health worries, vacation dreams — and on and on.” She continues later on in the article, “It is integrating what it knows about our offline, online and even mobile selves, creating in-depth behavior portraits in pixilated detail. Its executives have called this approach a “360-degree view” on consumers.” Privacy advocates worry it will it could lead to a new era of consumer profiling.

What’s your reaction: Great opportunity for consumers as well as advertisers or scary?

Do you think the privacy issues are a greater concern of the older generations than the Gen Y/Millennials who tend to be much freer about revealing details of their personal lives and activities.? 

Phyllis Weiss Haserot      www.pdcounsel.com 

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