Monday, August 22, 2005

Grocery Store frequent shopper cards


When you signed up for your frequent shoppers card at Ralphs, Albertsons or Safeway did you use your real name, address, phone #, birthdate, etc? What information do you think they are collecting on you? You do realize that they are collecting all your shopping habits, what you buy, when you buy it, how many Entemann's Key Lime pies you eat, how many cartons of cigarettes you smoke, etc. I wonder if my shopping habits could be used against me in a lawsuit, let's say I sued a tobacco company for my spouse's death from lung cancer. The grocery store possibly could be served a subpoena as to what brand of cigarettes we bought and when or even if we bought them.

Wouldn't it be a good idea to use a fake name, address, etc., when filling out the application form for the grocery card? Unless you cash checks at the store the information you put on the application is only of use to the store and those marketing firms they sell it to. Do you ever wonder if they could tell after let's say 100 shopping trips if you would vote liberal or conservative? I would think that whether you bought organic produce or not, ketchup or deli mustard, or salmon vs. Hamburger helper could be used to profile you.

A couple of interesting web sites are below detailing out some recent developments or events regarding grocery cards and their impact to privacy on the citizens of the world:

Firefighter charged with arson
Seattle Presstake on grocery cards and the bigger picture

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