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Are Target Stores Now Selling Data Too? California Store Scanned My Driver’s License When I Bought One Bottle of Wine̵

Posted Sep 11 2011 2:31am

I about flipped out on this one and if there wasn’t a big long line behind me I would walked but ok so now there’s one bottle of wine listed that I purchased that connects back to data on my driver’s license.  When the clerk asked for my driver’s license, being a person in my mid 50s, we all take as a back door compliment but when she scanned it…oh boy wait a minute.  I talk about the misuse and abuse of data analytics all the time here and it happens and you don’t need to look any further for that than the Governor of Arizona if you want a glaring example of digital illiterates that couldn’t find that small amount of dollars relatively speaking for transplant patients.  Anyway, being I research this all the time, it’s the data selling game as Target has pharmacies and we all know the ton of money made selling our prescription data.   This is a full on rant here, so you are warned. image

I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER BOTTLE OF WINE AT TARGET AGAIN. 

The article clip below talks about how Walmart is now going back to selling data back to Nielsen again, selling it.  They don’t give it away, nobody gives any data away today, so Target’s probably right in there too. Walgreens recently stated their data selling business was valued at just short of $800 million.  No wonder Silicon Valley’s economy sits so well, most of this stuff is coming from that direction with software.  I’m not picking on the folks up there as there’s a lot of good stuff that comes out of there too, but the value?  The banks jump in there and push that button too.  Even when you listen to our US CTO, he talks about “getting rich” writing code, not necessarily to help and create better ways of life. 

Now this is a goldmine as I have said before we can’t control the data but we could certainly begin requiring resellers licenses and start taxing it.  This would give law enforcement a leg to stand on as well for those who either don’t pay taxes or sell data without paying a hefty licensing fee.

If you have not watched it, this video is excellent from Stanford and they also lightly touch on the digital illiterates too with speaking of the “internet tubes’…tubes?  It’s worth the watch!

Even HHS is a bit off their rocker with a Facebook contest…do we talk privacy and Facebook in the same sentence here? 

I did read all over the web and I am not the first one who became alarmed over this process at Target, and an IT guy in Texas beat me to it and he said the same things I say here with privacy and selling data almost to the tee.

So somewhere along the line someone is going to compare data they get from the connection of my driver’s license and I’m going to end up being some degenerate in some digital illiterates analytic process.  I’m telling you we have illiterates that DO NOT know how to use data and instead of perhaps coming up with community type numbers, they get it down to an individual level and misconstrue and this is where you and I as consumers get fleeced and screwed.  I know a few high tech folks that will jump right in here with me on this as they work with data too.  When you work with it and know the processes, you flat out see it for what it is. 

The problem is not so much the data being collected but it’s rather two other factors, the digital illiterates that mis use the information and have no clue how they judge and hurt others needlessly with stupidity and the other side of the very smart elite that use it to profit buy hiring the digital illiterates and telling them to run such analysis processes.  What do you think the high frequency folks do on Wall Street with their algorithms and it’s going to get worse now as the hardware side of profiting is getting close to an end so the next move is more algorithms to fragment and reformulate faster to get yet one more edge on the next guy.

I read on Forbes the other day (thanks to a tweet that alerted me) where a woman who worked at a drug store in San Francisco was fired as she was a diabetic and was having a low blood sugar attack and grabbed a bag of chips to keep from passing out.  Now was she wrong in the fact that she ate the chips before paying for them and should she have passed on the floor first?  Is this yet one more way to get rid of employees who cost the companies money with health insurance by getting rid of the employees with chronic conditions by catching them on this fine line of eating the chips before she paid for them?  I don’t know all the details but that’s exactly what it sounds like as she was quoted as having a perfect employee record for 18 years.

Why in the heck did Target need to scan my driver’ license?  How much are they making selling their data?  Some states even sell their DMV data too, so you know this is going on.  The governments had to resort to this practice due to lack of money, so I guess this is everyone’s excuse somewhere along the line!  Here’s Rite Aid doing it in the video…these average folks got it with analytics and the potential damage it can and will do. 

Here’s more with banks competing with Groupon and LivingSocial and selling your data…again how long can an economy last on the primary business of selling data with their highly inflated algorithmic processes? 

"Banks plan to compete with Groupon and LivingSocial by targeting coupons and deals at credit card holders based on their shopping habits. They found a way to do it without violating financial privacy laws: 'They're "selling" shopping habits the same way Facebook "sells" personal data about its users: in-network. It's a clever privacy work-around. Just as Facebook allows advertisers to specifically target certain kinds of users based on their profile information (without actually providing that profile information to the advertisers), banks plan to allow advertisers to send deals and coupons to their customers based on what they've bought before. That way, no user data actually leaves the network — instead, deals just enter the network. Each time a customer cashes in on one of those deals, the bank gets a commission.'"

This has become just a huge market and just think some of this money used to go to pay for employees to work at companies.  So let's go back to another post I made about a year ago…it’s been a big hit and well read here…let’s start finding some of those who are addicted and have to analyze every spec of data they can sniff..

BEWARE OF THE DATA ADDICT AND THEIR CO-HORTS THAT SUPPORT THEIR HABITS.  WE NEED GOOD SOUND DATA FOR IMPORTANT BUSINESS DECIIONS BUT NOT A BUNCH OF QUERIES COMPOUNDED INTO WHAT APPEARS TO BE A BIG PRESS RELEASE RELATED REPORT AND BOY DO WE SEE THIS IN THE NEWS TODAY.   Nobody has done squat to help engage the consumer so far as they are so wrapped up in analytics, the consumer is still left out in the cold and heck we don’t even see any leaders using any technology themselves, just search on Google and you see very few leaders with even so much as a cell phone in hand.

After this big event of discovery here with even more data being sold, I’m going to do the right thing the next time I want a bottle of wine, Target will not get my money for the 4-6 bottles of wine I may buy in a year, but instead the owner who runs an independent convenience store near my house is going to get my business and I can go else where for groceries as that’s what I went to Target for anyway.

Who knows where this data ends up and let’s hope it doesn’t end up at some place like FICO that runs mis matched “marketed” data.  I like technology and work with data bases to create answers and solutions and that is also how data base developers can also smell a rat at the same time and I wish more would speak out when issues as such occur.  Read up on the link below and you can see this is only to sell more data and will be totally inconclusive with the results they promise with being able to predict if you will take your medications. This is flat out math marketing fleecing the public and anyone else they can sell their analytics too who will buy in here. 

So I guess in a few year I’ll maybe find out who connected to my driver’s license purchase connected with the one bottle of wine that is now connected.  Some of this has been going on a very long time with retailers and their collecting and selling data.  I used to do some training for Intel and one day while doing a gig at Best Buy talked an employee into doing something he was not supposed to do and that was to let me see on the screen all the data they had on me, and this was about 4 years ago.  Their data went back around 4 years or so and I could plainly see a couple bags of M & Ms I bought in the store on a couple occasions, so they had it all down to the last munchie purchased as well as all my other items bought, so they must be selling some data too:) image

So again, what’s next, scanning my driver’s license when I buy a pack of M & Ms too?  Is is going to get this bad to where my entire purchase anywhere I go will be tied to my driver’s license as it’s bad enough already with all the stores and their “savings cards and coupons”.  Those are all data mongers and I can live with a certain amount of that even though I don’t like it, but come on, driver’s license for one bottle of wine?   License and tax these folks as with all the mergers and acquisitions out there we do not know what they are doing with the data, flat out and some may not be truthful about it either.  As you cans see regulatory agencies are wanting those “ those algorithms” and perhaps they should be asking a few more industries.  I suggested something like a Department of Algorithms in an archived post way back 2 years ago, again a coder’s insight or fear.  BD

Walmart says it wants to better understand its customers. That's why the company has reversed its position and agreed to share its scan data with outside research firms. The company has already reached a deal with Nielsen and is reported to be very close on a similar deal with SymphonyIRI.

Since Walmart first made the decision not to share its data, suppliers to the company have been able to see how well their products sold, but not competitors. Having this additional information is seen by many as critical to fully understanding the market.


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