About a decade ago, a cover story depicted how Andrew Pole, a statistician at Target was given the responsibility to come up a with a way to find shoppers that were possibly expecting. This was even if these people did not want this knowledge to get out, with Pole specifying how company used expecting mothers as dollar generating medium. As he introduced ‘a pregnancy score,’ it helped to Target build an exceptional algorithm.
Now in 2022, this problem appears to be way more problematic than just a money making scheme. Currently, as almost every company is extensively collecting owing to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, law enforcement has the opportunity to go after anyone seeking abortion services.
After a detailed research, it looks like about 32 brokers are furthering ways to datasets comprising digital data on several US resident who are pregnant or potentially pregnant. Moreover, a couple of these even had data on ones who were possibly on birth control that clearly those states are targeting which stricter laws in place at the moment. The Unique mobile IDs’ access for about 2.9 billion datasets of individuals are being sold by the brokers. This data comprises of ones who are already expecting or ‘set to get’ pregnant.
How was the data exactly sold?
These sets were sold on the basis of ‘cost per mille’ or CPM indicating that ones purchasing them would pay for users they get to through an advertisement. The charge for one user started of at 49 cents, going all the way to $2.25. Clearly, most of this data is ambiguous and rather repetitive as there is no way to determine how specific the given information is, and most brokers giving the same information.
Out of 32 of these brokers, 19 of these showed through previous collaborations and integrated sources that what kind of data it sold. In one particular case, a firm, AlikeAudience had sold accesses to about 61 million people using iOS devices. This was on a category referred to as ‘Pregnancy & Maternity Life Stage,’ but lacked much detail regarding where the data came from.
Quotient, another data broker was clearly more details which included details to advertisers regarding devices 9.6 million people purchasing pregnancy test kits and contraceptives. Findings showed how this broker was getting its data from site, coupons.com, along with shoppers from pharmacies such as Giant Eagle.