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Brad Fitzpatrick

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feeling half right [Oct. 13th, 2003|07:01 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
Wow, the world operates at the 6 o'clock hour. I just went to the grocery store to get coffee and some some stuff for breakfast. So many cars out!

It occured to me that my "anonymous" Albertsons card isn't so anonymous, since I've used it for discounts during the same transactions I've paid with my debit/credit card. They could easily correlate their records. So, I got a new Albertsons card. I'll scratch it up to denote it my cash-only card and keep both. I've been on a cash-only kick for a while now... I'm treasuring my rights to anonymity while I still got 'em. One day I'll tell my kids about it.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: muerte
2003-10-13 08:29 am (UTC)
I was thinking the same thing the other day when I used my Safeway card. However, if they COULD just use your debit card information why would they have a Safeway card at all? Granted not all people pay with debit/credit but I would venture a guess at least 90% do.

So I'm guessing there is some law that says you cannot track purchase information based on credit card information.
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[User Picture]From: cjcollier
2003-10-13 08:33 am (UTC)
Yeah, but isn't it convenient to be able to track all your own purchases and drop them straight into GnuCash or Quicken from your bank's website?

*shrug*

What I do is make all the stupid transactions that don't matter in the long run with the debit card and keep cash laying around for my nefarious deeds.

I've not had any problems... yet.
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[User Picture]From: niko
2003-10-13 10:34 am (UTC)
I used to be a field technician for a company called Catalina Marketing, they run those little thermal printers that spit out the red and white tape with cupons based on what you buy.

The system basically sits on the register network (be it ethernet or something proprietary) and sniffs the data pushed by the cash registers. One of the features of their system is tracking "club card" numbers so you could say, get a coupon for $2 off your next order if you spend $x.

So each system had a master database of all the club cards for the given chain, and tracked what kind of purchases they made. Current regulations (I know it was in effect in California at the time, I think other states followed suit) do not allow companies to cross-reference club card numbers with the cardholder's personal information. I'm wondering how long it will be until that's gone..
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[User Picture]From: autarchex
2003-10-16 03:35 pm (UTC)
I had one of the old anonymous Safeway cards. I was just a number. Then I used it with my debit card. The next time I paid in cash in conjunction with my Safeway card, the machine printed "thank you Mr. Roop" at the bottom of the receipt.

The Safeway peons deny that their system could have done this, but they are also at a loss to explain that my card is flagged "anonymous" and yet has a full name and telephone number associated with it.

It's all about the plausible deniability, baby!
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[User Picture]From: brad
2003-10-16 03:39 pm (UTC)
I knew it! :-)
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[User Picture]From: way2tired
2003-10-13 11:59 am (UTC)
I do the same thing. I won't use my card when I use something like a discount card here. I wonder how big of a deal it really is?
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[User Picture]From: nolegs
2003-10-13 12:51 pm (UTC)

Just start shoplifting.

There was a story in the newspaper a couple few months back about a woman who, while cleaning another woman's house, stole a check and used it some months later at a local grocery store. The woman whose check was stolen noticed it on her statement and called John Law. When the police went to investigate they noticed that the Criminal had used her own Fresh Ideas card(generic discount card like every other store) along with the stolen check so that she might save a few dollars.
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[User Picture]From: tabbylove
2003-10-15 11:50 am (UTC)

Re: Just start shoplifting.

That could be on one of those dumb criminals shows. The ones where the guy robs the store and then comes back because he left his keys on the counter or something.
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[User Picture]From: toast0
2003-10-13 06:53 pm (UTC)
wow, in southern california, when albertsons bought lucky's, it got rid of the lucky's discount card... it had chose not to use one anyhow (i think it advertises that their prices are low enough anyhow... or something).. it does have some 'give some money to school of my choice' cards though, which seems niftier to me... i think it's a flat percentage of the total, but i don't really know.

probably 75% of the time i've been to a store w/ a discout card, if i didn't have one, the checkout person would usually swipe theirs for me anyhow... which kinda defeats the point to the store, i think
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