30 Mar '12, 8pm

Your Favorite Stores Know You All Too Well

Well, you know, that’s an unfortunate story for sure, if it’s true; it’s unsubstantiated. And even if it’s true, it’s certainly not clear whether it’s connected to their initiative to predict pregnancy. Target themselves has made it very clear that they understand they don’t want customers to know that they’re considering them possibly pregnant if they haven’t volunteered the information themselves. If indeed that story happened, it was a gaffe and may not have had anything to do with math or analytics. Somebody was put in the wrong marketing bin. That’s a serious gaffe, and I think that they’re paying the price for that—that particular anecdote. More broadly, the ethical issues are extremely difficult to fathom. I think that there’s an inherent tension. People on my side of the fence who are practitioners of this type of analysis simply are going to have an inherent bias ...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/computing/software/your-...

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