What does your address say about you?
Quite a bit, according to those behind a website that profiles people and estimates the household income.
But privacy advocates have expressed concerns after the Roy Morgan Research classification tool Helix Personas began allowing users to obtain profiles by entering a street address.
The site, which introduced the feature in recent weeks after opening for business last year, is marketed as being able to categorise every Aussie into one of 56 personas.
You can find out, free-of-charge, whether your persona is of a “Fit and Fab Metrotech”, a “Penny Wise Battler” or a “Done Good Aussie Achiever”.
Residents of households in inner suburban streets are likely to find themselves profiled as well-educated and career-focused renters with a “Big Future” bringing in $96,000.
Meanwhile those in a growing urban-fringe area may be categorised as “Getting By” on a household income of $79,000.
The site has been touted as potentially useful to retailers trying to determine where to locate future outlets.
However, Australian Privacy Foundation vice-chair Katina Michael said companies applying profiles could get it dramatically wrong or right.
Michael said that consumers had a choice to make in light of the “big data” trend, which often mischaracterised people.“We can continue to believe the rhetoric that says ‘We are doing no harm to individuals, it is hardly tracking when profiling small neighbourhoods’ ... or we can begin to demand an end to the on-selling of personal information,” she said.
Citation: Lachlan Hastings, May 23, 2014 "Highly sort places for Aussies to live", MX (Brisbane), p. 4.