John Gruber wrote about Target’s customer data collection.
This is what retailers like Target want to preserve, or even improve upon, with CurrentC. And this is exactly the sort of thing that Apple Pay, with its per-purchase unique tokens — is designed to prevent.
So you think it is reasonable for retailers to collect data about you to serve you better or tailor your shopping experience?
Take a look at what kind of information they might be gathering:
Whenever possible, Target assigns each shopper a unique code — known internally as the Guest ID number — that keeps tabs on everything they buy. “If you use a credit card or a coupon, or fill out a survey, or mail in a refund, or call the customer help line, or open an e-mail we’ve sent you or visit our Web site, we’ll record it and link it to your Guest ID,” Pole said. “We want to know everything we can.”
Also linked to your Guest ID is demographic information like your age, whether you are married and have kids, which part of town you live in, how long it takes you to drive to the store, your estimated salary, whether you’ve moved recently, what credit cards you carry in your wallet and what Web sites you visit. Target can buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or got divorced, the year you bought (or lost) your house, where you went to college, what kinds of topics you talk about online, whether you prefer certain brands of coffee, paper towels, cereal or applesauce, your political leanings, reading habits, charitable giving and the number of cars you own.
Are you comfortable with such profiling? Even if you are, your loved ones might not be.