The Wall Street Journal reports on the recent success in the junk mail industry due to database changes, increased computing power and better storage capability. Direct marketers can now more quickly and accurately filter public and private data sources to more targeted demographics. Traditionally, retailers have been able to use public sources of data—such as age and marital status—but now more data combinations are available. Electronic Frontier Foundation Sr. Staff Attorney Lee Tien said public awareness on the issue is lacking. “This industry has existed for a long time,” he said, “but it wasn’t a significant privacy issue—the technology changes have made it a more significant issue.” (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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