March 20th, 2012

Data Mining and Kids Part 1: Thank Goodness She Didn’t Pay Cash!

By Erik Wecks

Remember the movie The Minority Report? It is based upon a Philip K. Dick novel of the same name. Well, the movie is supposed to portray an implausible dystopian society of the future in which people’s consumer information is used to track their every move, and in which three precog individuals predict crime. Arrests are made before the crimes happen. Well, reality just got a little bit surreal a couple of weeks ago when the New York Times explained that Target learned through its data mining program that a teen girl was pregnant before her father knew. Charles Duhigg’s amazing article explained how the buying habits of women can predict whether or not they are pregnant with 90+% accuracy. According to the article, Target can also nail down the due date to within a few weeks.

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