WASHINGTON — Advances in technology have made finding deals this holiday season never so easy — or so creepy.
Marketers and mobile app developers have developed creative new ways to help shoppers find what they need for less. But these inventive techniques also mean more aggressive tracking and profiling of consumers, whether they are on their work computer, a mobile device or standing in the cereal aisle.
Consumer advocates say this kind of monitoring opens the door to price discrimination. Jeff Chester, an executive director at the Center for Digital Democracy, said of online marketers, quote, “you know that song where Santa knows when you’ve been sleeping? He knows when you’re awake? Believe me, that’s where he’s getting his information from.”