PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

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Green Eggs and Ham: How Not to Market and Invade Privacy

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By Daniel J. Solove

Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham is a timeless classic that is read to millions of children. At first the simple rhymes and cute drawings are alluring. But parents will soon discover the book’s terrifying equation: The tiresome repetition of the book multiplied by the number of times a child will want the book read. The result is mind-numbing and will make parents curse the day they decided to make the book part of their child’s library.

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Soup for Me at $5 but No Soup for You (Or Maybe at $10)

Behavioral Targeting

There is still more interesting grist from the national telephone survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.  The report has an extensive discussion of price discrimination – offering different prices for the same product or service to different customers based on behavioral profiling.

This practice is already happening.  Supermarket discount cards are an example of price discrimination.  The report notes: “[B]eing a loyal customer doesn’t automatically mean getting the lowest prices.  Computer analyses of shopping histories might determine that a person’s allegiance to some products means he or she would buy them even without the discounts, or with smaller discounts than others might get for the same items at the same time.”

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