Supermarkets Are Having a Fire Sale on Data About You

vtqhtr413

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Aug 17, 2017
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When you hit the checkout line at your local supermarket and give the cashier your phone number or loyalty card, you are handing over a valuable treasure trove of data that may not be limited to the items in your shopping cart. Many grocers systematically infer information about you from your purchases and “enrich” the personal information you provide with additional data from third-party brokers, potentially including your race, ethnicity, age, finances, employment, and online activities. Some of them even track your precise movements in stores. They then analyze all this data about you and sell it to consumer brands eager to use it to precisely target you with advertising and otherwise improve their sales efforts.
According to the Kroger privacy policy, the company will “only collect information when needed for a particular purpose.” Here is some of the information that the company says it may collect, depending on the specific customer.
  • Personal information: Information you provide when you sign up for the loyalty program: name, email address, mailing address, phone number, membership ID, and unique household identifier
  • Purchase history: Historical in-store and online shopping purchases (with no time limits on how long the information is kept while you are a member)
  • Location: Your precise physical location in the store (with your consent), including when you enter and leave a store (Kroger app, GPS, and Bluetooth beacons inside stores)
  • Financial and payment information: “credit, debit, or other payment card numbers, bank account numbers”
  • Health-related information: “Where permitted by applicable law, to serve you better we may make certain inferences about you based upon your shopping history that are health related”
  • Mobile device data: Mobile advertising ID, IP address, browsing data, use of tracking pixels, and cookies
  • Demographic data: “age, marital or family status (including whether your family includes children), languages spoken, education information, gender, ethnicity and race, employment information, or other demographic information”
  • Biometric data: Facial recognition (in select locations, with signs providing notice)
  • Behavioral inferences: “We create inferred and derived data elements by analyzing your shopping history in combination with other information we have collected about you to personalize product offerings, your shopping experience, marketing messages and promotional offers”
 

Zero Knowledge

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Dec 2, 2016
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Loyalty cards have always been a scam. It's about data mining and free market research but people get sucked in because they think free stuff = good.

All you get for spending $20K over the year at a supermarket and using your loyalty card is a free toaster :mad:. Worth it? Nah don't think so.

Memberships are also a huge scam. Free $10 gift card once every 6 months and that's it. I'm looking at you Amazon, eBay etc..

And don't get me started on sales that are not really sales, price jacking so the discount comes out at 2%/3% instead of the advertised 15%. Another awful common tactic they use is exclusions or excluding anything worthwhile buying from the sale just leaving rubbish they can't move and then again the price jacking. How they are legally able to get away with these tactics is beyond me.
 

monkeylove

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I think it can also happen if the name in the credit card is also recorded; also, probably debit cards, and not only in supermarkets but for other services. And certainly for online purchases, delivery services, etc.
 

oldschool

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I think it can also happen if the name in the credit card is also recorded; also, probably debit cards, and not only in supermarkets but for other services. And certainly for online purchases, delivery services, etc.
The simple thing is to use cash. Still accepted at most locations. It also makes balancing the checkbook a breeze. Stay simple, stay safe.
 

blackice

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I’ll take my cheaper groceries that’s fine. As my roommate in college used to say “the people who shop at Walmart need to shop at Walmart”.
 
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Zero Knowledge

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Dec 2, 2016
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The simple thing is to use cash. Still accepted at most locations. It also makes balancing the checkbook a breeze. Stay simple, stay safe.
Cash is dying everywhere you look in 1st world economies❗. It's becoming harder and harder to use cash and get it out from dwindling ATM's (less and less around). and even harder at branches 💰.

Thankfully It will always live on in 3rd world and less developed nations 🆗 so maybe it's time to move somewhere else and enjoy the chaos and nice beaches of somewhere more affordable 🇹🇭.
 

Digmor Crusher

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Jan 27, 2018
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Cash is dying everywhere you look in 1st world economies❗. It's becoming harder and harder to use cash and get it out from dwindling ATM's (less and less around). and even harder at branches 💰.

Thankfully It will always live on in 3rd world and less developed nations 🆗 so maybe it's time to move somewhere else and enjoy the chaos and nice beaches of somewhere more affordable 🇹🇭.
Yup, when you move buy a big house and rent me out a room.
 
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