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Is it me or is everybody trying to pry your personal information from you these days? Don’t get me wrong, I’m obviously not overly paranoid about it. I mean, I do write a personal blog for all the world to see. If you want to know much about me, all you have to do is pull up our website and there it is. However, I’m mildly distrubed by the fact that I can’t go into a store and buy something annonymously anymore. I find it to be a bit unsettling.
It all started out a few years ago when stores started issuing “valued customer” cards. Essentially, you’d use these cards to earn points for free stuff. Then you had grocery stores requiring you to use their card in order to take advantage of their sales for the week. These stores then track your purchases and are able to market to you accordingly.
Disney and Your Personal Information
These days, Disney has taken this tactic to a whole new level using computer cookies. Whenever you visit one of their websites, they will ask you a bunch of questions about your different preferences. By doing this, they are able to provide the customer with offers (advertisements) based upon their personal information (like family size and age) and preferences. This is wonderful marketing, and they would tell you that it is great for the customer to be able to receive tailored ads as well. I think it is a little bit creepy for a company the size of Disney to know that much about me. Afterall, don’t giant companies have enough power already?
Giving Up our Privacy to Go Christmas Shopping
Here is another example. The other day we went Christmas shopping at our local mall. Our 13 year-old niece asked for a gift card to a trendy clothing store. I don’t want to give this store any free advertising, so let’s just call it “The Snap.” Anyway, we proceeded to the checkout counter to buy the gift card. [Read more…]