Ethically questionable research

[Sorry for the light blogging, there have been Real World (tm) issues.]

I've just had a student ask me if I would advise him on some research on a topic that I find morally distasteful: customer profiling. I suppose that I would like to know more about how companies do this, but on the other hand, I feel a bit "unclean" about even touching something like this. What if s/he finds a great new way to get customers to sign on the dotted line or to focus advertising?

I mean, okay, this is not making guns and stuff, but I am really unsure whether to be involved with such questions.

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