Target is targeting people, no matter where they live. A well-known newspaper published an expose on Target Corporation. The expose claimed Target has an initiative to learn what is going on in peoples’ lives so the retailer can target those lifestyle changes for advertising purposes. This could happen in California, even if Target did not have a store in any city in the state, because Target is online. Lifestyle changes include a new baby, marriage, divorce, a new significant other or any other lifestyle changes.
The report found that those that have just gone through a divorce tend to change shopping habits: People change the brand of beer they drink, start buying more prepared meals and buy linens and other things to set up a new home.
Some may buy low-calorie foods, which would show a concern about that person’s weight since that person is probably going to start dating again. People getting ready to go through a divorce or in the process of divorce may even show more alcohol purchases.
A person could avoid this type of advertising by paying cash, but for those who shop online or use debit cards, the store can still track the purchases. This means that if a court subpoenas these records, they could be used against you in a divorce or a custody proceeding. If records show that a person buys a case of beer every week, it could be used to show an alcohol problem, giving the spouse reason to try to contest visitation or custody of a parent.
If a soon-to-be ex-spouse drops a few hundred a week at an upscale department store or specialty store, this could have an effect on how much alimony a person would be granted. The newly divorced or a person going through a divorce should keep in mind that “Big Data” is nosey and the information could find its way into a divorce proceeding.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorce Meets Big Data,” March 2, 2012