Oh, Baby!

It’s Big Brother on Steroids.

Back in February, I received this in the mail one day:

Target Baby 02-07-2013a

Target Baby Coupon Book

And I said out loud:

What’s this?!  Do they know something I don’t?!

Yes, in fact they DID.  This combined with a few other signals made me test the next day and the results were positive.  Several days before my “missed” period.  HOW did they know?!

A recent online article described how Nordstrom notified customers they were tracking shopping behaviors using the Wi-Fi in their cell phones.  And most of us find it disturbing.

My husband and I were discussing this in the car and he shared that he’d recently met a former Target IT guy who worked on the project that gathered customer information for marketing predictions and shared with him how uncanny it was that this (above) had happened.  He was told it was no accident.

Target knew I was pregnant before I did thanks to facial recognition technology used in the stores, combined with W-Fi phone ID.  The program detects certain facial changes that correspond to pregnancy.  So just days before receiving this booklet, I went into Target and the system recognized that facial measurement change and triggered the mailing.  [They also use this technology for security purposes, identifying shoplifters and alerting security whenever those individuals enter a store.]

Target has been using this face recognition/comparison technology for about 3 1/2 years according to this former IT employee who worked on the project.  Only Target didn’t inform its customers.  It’s one thing to analyze purchasing behaviors per this article, but to use such sophisticated technology is over the top.  I certainly never expected to be told I was pregnant by a marketing mailer!!

I was aware of purchasing behavior analysis – compiled using credit card purchase information, but this is downright creepy.  I tell you what, if I ever need to buy such a test in the future I will DEFINITELY pay cash!  Although I’m told that’s no assurance, as they’re working on a way to identify and track those people too…

Target Baby 02-07-2013b-edited-1
Notice how the booklet said I had registered – but I had not.

2 thoughts on “Oh, Baby!

  1. Pingback: And So the Marketing Deluge Begins... | Pamela's Paleo Life

  2. pprinkkila Post author

    I also received a second one of thee booklets a day or two after my positive test. That one may have been triggered by a purchase, but talk about covering the bases…

    Reply

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