Column: ‘Big Brother seems to know about me!

Kate's got Halloween on the brain this week
Kate's got Halloween on the brain this week

The world of Big Brother seems ever closer – and I’m not talking about the awful television programme.

No what is causing me a bit of angst is how companies are able to learn things about me and use the information, all without me even realising.

Regular readers of this column – and I appreciate you one and all – may remember me rambling about getting the second-hand vacuum cleaner from my mother and not being able to get it to work.

Forced to resort to the invaluable assistance of Mrs Google – it’s a useful thing, so it must be female! – I was able to download the necessary details to get the dratted thing to clean my carpets.

However, now I find messages popping up whenever I’m online telling me about suppliers for filters and other accessories for the said vacuum.

It probably only registered because it was something so bizarre as a vacuum filter but I made the point to daughter Emma who confirmed that’s how companies work in today’s digital age.

“Have you not noticed how we get sent different offers from supermarkets and other shops?” she queried.

“I get sent money off vouchers for nappies and you get them for wrinkle cream.”

I really think that girl gets more like her irritating father every day ...

“And when it’s money off a whole shop then I have to spend more than you because your details show that you regularly spend less than me – I’m shopping for four and you are for one. It’s what they do.”

She then told me that the couple who helped Tesco launch their Clubcard scheme had sold their business years later for millions.

Difficult to believe that such a simple idea could prove so valuable.

Which set me wondering what money-making scheme I could come up with.

Saying this out loud only led to Emma rolling her eyes.

“Mum, you have to be at least able to find your way around a computer to run a digital company!

“You are always getting me to help you or I’ve even heard you getting advice from Jack – and he’s eight!”

“Well they teach them all about computers in school nowadays,” I replied somewhat grumpily.

Perhaps one of these companies which gleans my info will send me a money off voucher for a digital handbook. Now that would be useful.