Don Marti

Thu 31 Oct 2013 06:55:07 AM PDT

With decent algorithms, all user data is personal.

Adam Tanner asks, Where should companies draw the line in collecting information about us in their efforts to sell things? For example, should they catalog medical ailments or physical attributes such as obesity? What about religion, race, or sexual orientation?

Doesn't work. Writing codes of conduct for what's sensitive or secret information about a person, and what's not, is just a sacrifice of perfectly good carpal tunnels.

Once you turn the algorithms loose on a customer data set that's been carefully sanitized of anything medical, ethnic, or otherwise personal, they'll promptly reconstruct it.

It's the Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express problem.