The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania recently released a study entitled Open to Exploitation: American Shoppers Online and Offline which you may want to take a look at.
The report lead by Joseph Turow, Ph.D. contains a plethora of data taken from polls on issues such as the percentage of folks who have no idea what a phishing site looks like, as well as a few shocking factoids like that charities can sell your personal information, even without your permission. The report also takes a hard look at the offline space.
It seems odd to me that an economy so dependent on the retail space would have to resort to such tricky measures to keep things rolling. If the retail sector was truly as healthy as everyone says it is (and as the recent market activity seems to show), then why try to squeeze so much if there is enough to go around. Is it simple hypercompetiveness driven by technological advances, or the lack of predictability (not knowing where the next meal may come from)? Or is it both? And how or when will it change?
Anyway, the Annenberg report is well worth your time. You can pick it up here.