Voices

They Know What You’re Shopping For

Published on December 8, 2012
by Jennifer Valentino-Devries and Jeremy Singer-Vine

Georgia resident Andy Morar is in the market for a BMW. So recently he sent a note to a showroom near Atlanta, using a form on the dealer’s website to provide his name and contact information.

His note went to the dealership—but it also went, without his knowledge, to a company that tracks car shoppers online. In a flash, an analysis of the auto websites Mr. Morar had anonymously visited could be paired with his real name and studied by his local car dealer.

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