In part two of our series on data mining, Marketplace's Stacey Vanek Smith visits a data mining company and sees what they know about her through her credit card transactions, Facebook account... It's a lot.
Kai Ryssdal: Somewhere in the back of our minds, we all probably know that companies are keeping track of us. They want to know who we are, what we're interested in, they want to know what we buy -- and how all that affects what we're likely to buy in the future. It's called data mining. Best estimates are it's a $100 billion a year business in this country.
Yesterday, Marketplace's Stacey Vanek Smith told us how marketers are using our data to get better at selling things to us. Today, some personal examples.
Stacey Vanek Smith: Data compilers have been gathering information on me: Where I live and what I buy since I left for college.
Peter Harvey is the CEO of data mining company, Intellidyn. He gives me the big picture.
Peter Harvey: So now, we've got Stacey at Apt C on this street, in LA. It has your date of birth as December 1, 1976.
December 26, but OK...
Harvey: You're a frequent Internet user, cellular customer and long distance user. And it says you are an active credit card user.
Using that and my credit information, data miners slot me into one of 70 lifestyle categories, or clusters.
Harvey: It put you in cluster number 26.
Harvey: Savvy singles. Savvy single households are well-educated and enjoy upper-middle income and live in multi-family dwelling units.