Another Technological Breakthrough in Web Marketing

Credit card companies are looking to make better use of their data by combining web browsing with a card holder’s buying history.  Another data mining innovation and, as the Wall Street Journal reports, another chink in one’s personal privacy:

The technology is still evolving. According to ad executives briefed on some of the ideas, a holy grail would be to show, for instance, a weight-loss ad to a person who just swiped their [Visa or MasterCard] at a fast-food chain—then track whether that person bought the advertised products. Currently, Web ads generally are based on a person’s online behavior but not information tied to his or her identity or activities in the brick-and-mortar world.

In one particularly futuristic idea, a Visa patent application published this year describes incorporating information from DNA databanks, among other personal details, into profiles that could be used to target people online.

The magic of the marketplace.  It can bring all kinds of abstract ideas to concrete reality.  In most cases, that new reality can be wonderful to behold.  In this case, it kind of looks like Orwell’s  Big Brother.  You can read the full story here.

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