Guarding Your Personal Information from Corporate Interests

 

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Guarding Personal Information from Corporate InterestsIs 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…]

Voluntary Torture: A Trip to Our Local Shopping Mall

 

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TMI ALERT: I hate wearing a bra.  Unfortunately, I have to wear one on a daily basis.  I work in a professional office, and I don’t think that anyone would appreciate the THO I would likely be sporting if I didn’t wear a bra in my air-conditioned office.  Anyway, what I really like are those camisoles with built-in bras.  I needed a few new ones, and I wasn’t having much luck finding what I wanted online.  Therefore, this past Saturday night, Greg and I decided to get a babysitter and go shopping.

Since we were looking for something specific, we decided that going to the mall would increase the likelihood of us actually finding it.  Afterall, we could park the car once and meander into many different stores looking for the illusive bra/tank top combo.  On our way to the there, we reminisced a little about past trips we have made to the mall.  We both hate shopping so much that we avoid it like the plague.  Occasionally, we even give money as Christmas and birthday gifts to our nieces and nephews just so that we can avoid making a trip to this capitalistic purgatory. That and we are cheap as hell frugally awesome.

We arrived at the mall and it was jam-packed!  What in the world were all of these people doing here on a beautiful autumn Saturday night?  Was there an event going on?  A concert?  We would soon find out. [Read more…]