Target Pregnancy Predictor Essay

Target Pregnancy Predictor Essay

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Case Study 4
Relevant Facts
Companies like Target are looking for new ways to get customers to shop at their locations. They have learned through market research that there are certain times in a person’s life when they are more open to changing their buying habits. The most significant of these times is when a woman is having her first child since products will be needed for the baby.
By carefully examining purchasing habits of twenty-five products, Target is able to determine the likelihood that a woman is pregnant and when her baby is due. This gives them the first opportunity to market to the expectant mother instead of waiting on birth information that is available through public records like companies used to have to do. They can then carefully time coupons and offers around key dates that items might be needed.
Target does offer a privacy policy that states that information can be provided to other companies outside of the Target family. The question is whether or not Target provides their analysis data on when they believe a woman is pregnant to other companies since this is not clearly stated in their policy. However, Target says that everyone has the option to stop marketing offers directed at them. Beyond that, there is no way to control information that is collected or find out where that information goes.
Key Ethical Issues
Target’s collection and possible sale of private information could go against basic principles of confidentiality since people trust that they are not revealing information that is confidential. One expects that their personal information is protected and not just provided to anyone who is willing to pay for it. At the same time, people expect Target not to be buying influence ...

... middle of paper ...

...ent analytic methods, but sometimes choose the right thing to do is not the easier thing.
Final Solutions
Overall, I believe that Target needs to take a two-prong approach to the collection and management of personal information. First, they need to draft a clear privacy policy that everyone will understand. If they want to sell information to third-parties, then the people have a right to know who. Then, in that policy, Target needs to have a way to give people control over their private information perhaps through a website. This would give shoppers the opportunity to update and correct the data giving Target the most accurate depiction for marketing purposes. People do not really understand that their privacy is being jeopardized until it is too late. Target could be an ethical leader in this area which probably would increase their profits even more.

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