Most people don’t realize how much of their online activity is being tracked. One of the reasons is that whenever that tracking comes to light, people get angry about it — for example in the infamous incident when Target “knew” a teenage girl was pregnant before her father did. So the smart companies don’t reveal how much they know directly — because that’s too “creepy.” Instead, they act on the information indirectly, for example by sending you a selection of special offers, even though they know you’ll only be interested in the first one.
What can you do about it? Not much, especially since the “do not track” option in your browser is increasingly being ignored. Hello brave new world — and enjoy your t-shirt!