Companies Know EVERYTHING About Us


How creepy does it sound that stores that we shop in, may know every little detail about us, what we do, what we buy, and even our personality and behaviors? The article “How Companies Learn Your Secrets” written by Charles Duhigg explains exactly how they do this and why they do. “For decades, Target has collected vast amounts of data on every person who regularly walks into one of its stores. Whenever possible, Target assigns each shopper a unique code — known internally as the Guest ID number — that keeps tabs on everything they buy.” Who would have thought that we all have our own Guest ID number? How cool! …..Uh, more like creepy. They collect data on us every time we visit their store. They see who we are by checking our credit cards we use or if we fill out any surveys at the store. How much more permanent could this get? All of this information that Target is taking on us is in ways permanent cannot even describe since we, at least I, did not even know. ‘We want to know everything we can.” Finding information on us seems like their number one priority in order to get us to come back to their stores again.

Target can also “buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or got divorced…” Talk about creepy. This is all information that is permanent in a realm we never knew existed and we can never take it back. We walked in all of these stores before and now they know information about us. If it was simple as going to the stores and saying “Hey, can you take my Guest ID number off of your list? I am going to continue shopping here though,” then I would do that, but it is not.

“When a computer chimes or a smartphone vibrates with a new message, the brain starts anticipating the neurological “pleasure” (even if we don’t recognize it as such) that clicking on the e-mail and reading it provides. That expectation, if unsatisfied, can build until you find yourself moved to distraction by the thought of an e-mail sitting there unread.” This is actually really funny, but so true because I am doing it right now and I read and write. I know I have a text message waiting for me, but I am continuing to write while I think about that text message. Although, that text message will always be permanently in my phone so I will always be able to see it no matter what! That is what they call a habit!

Companies like Target use our information in order to get us to come into the stores more often. If they notice that we buy bathing suits during the month of April, they will send us coupons on sunscreen along with ads about books on dieting in December. Using our permanent information that they found from us, they can try to intrigue us to come buy more things in their store.

It is extremely weird how Target can find our information and detect if we are pregnant or not by seeing if we bought supplements, lotion, or a large bag to be a diaper bag. Then they use that information to send us coupons via email since they notice what we are buying and give us information on stuff we most likely will buy in the future. A father did not even know his daughter was pregnant until Target sent them an AD on pregnancy things. Read here for more! 300px-Pregnant_woman21

Permanency is written all over this article. If we want into a store, they use our Guest ID’s and find out information about us that we did not even know was out there. It is permanent now and we can no longer get it back.

Here is another article about Target’s secret we (maybe just I) never knew about… Target’s Secret

The Nonbelievers

There are some people in the world who don’t believe in things being permanent. I was looking for my last article for this week’s blog post. Instead of searching for an article that someone wrote, I decided to read through some discussion pages about the idea of permanence. I found a page on Hubpage that linked a long discussion between a few people about their idea of permanence. To be honest with you, I was pretty surprised with what I read. Even though some things aren’t going to stick around forever, I don’t think these people took modern day technology into account.

The opening question for the discussion was, “What do you consider permanent in your life?” The girl posing the question mentioned that it could be related to relationships, beliefs, emotions, and habits. These are not just material things.

The first person to respond to this question quickly replied that nothing in life is permanent. She did bring up an interesting point, stating that “you did not bring along anything when born and will not take along anything from here.” That’s definitely an arguable statement that I don’t necessarily agree with. Although we did come into this world without any material items, we weren’t born with nothing. Each of us were born with parents, a family, nationality, and other things. These ARE permanent. You cannot change your nationality. You cannot change who your parents are or where you were born. Those things will never change. So although this girl did try to bring up a good point. she didn’t necessarily think about non-material things.

Another writer stated that life in general is permanent. This is a really broad answer, and the moderator of this forum immediately rebutted his statement. She claimed that our personal attitudes and viewpoints can always change, which is true. There may be a time when you form an opinion, and have it change within a short period of time. For example, my dad was raised in a Republican family. As he got older, he learned more about politics and formed his own opinion. Now, he is a registered Democrat. There is always an opportunity for a new point of view or change in beliefs.

I actually don’t know what else I would consider permanent, except for what we’ve been talking about on this blog, which is what you submit to cyberspace. I don’t think life is permanent, because we all die eventually. But while we’re here, we can consider some things permanent. Maybe the definition of permanent should be different…

Love, Hope.



This whole ‘filter bubble’ idea is weird. I honestly was completely confused at first, because it was a term I had never heard of. I wish the guy speaking in this video has been more outgoing, because the subject is actually very interesting. He needs some pep in his step.

I really don’t like the fact that websites and companies are able to see EVERYTHING. There’s a huge lack of privacy, and although they are trying to be affective and helpful to the technological user, it’s just borderline creepy. Everybody is starting to become more personalized, doing “what we think we want to see.” How do they know what I want to see? Just because I’ve typed something in before? I don’t want to live in a filter bubble. I don’t want people to assume what I like and want to read. That’s all a ‘filter bubble’ seems to be; an assumption.

I think websites are becoming so over the top, and according to the video, are becoming algorithmic instead of using real-life editors. That’s how sites used to be. That’s how they used to be run. Now, everything is lacking true humanity and relying on the advancements of technology. The idea that was discussed in Eli Pariser’s video just really annoyed me. Algorithms are not the same as human thoughts and needs. We need to be able to control what we are seeing, reading, and using. Just because the Internet is advanced, that doesn’t mean it can assume who we are as people.

I believe what he is saying, as Pariser worries about future isolation. But I think we’re already at that point. How many people do you see being isolated because of modern day technology? I think that faster than ever, we are becoming extremely close to living in our own personal online bubbles, which is exactly what a ‘filter bubble’ is. Our ‘filter bubbles’ are made to try and be personalized to us, and end up pushing us away from the real world. This relates to permanence, which is the overall theme of this blog. With the consistent and continuous personalization the web pages and searches we see, the bubbles are going to get smaller and smaller. Eventually, I think we’ll all be stuck. That’ll be permanent.

nothing but...

nothing but… (Photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³)