Should Your Company Tell You Your Secrets

Nice sociology of info two-fer in Forbes article about Target being able to detect pregnancy based on purchases (see also “How Companies Learn Your Secrets”in NYT). The first connection is obvious: data mining lets company detect information “given off” by ordinary behavior. Second is the notification question. In the article the “story” is that Target outs young woman to her dad by sending targeted circular for maternity supplies.

So now we are in the situation where data mining companies have to interrogate their notification obligations just like doctors, lawyers, and spouses. I will work up an analysis in subsequent post. I anticipate insights about how corporate-ness of knower figures into the notification norm calculation.

Author: Dan Ryan

I'm currently an Academic Program Director at I've been a professor at University of Toronto, University of Southern California, and Mills College teaching things like human centered design, computational thinking, modeling for policy sciences, and social theory. I'm driven by the desire to figure out how to teach twice as many twice as well twice as easily.

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