The good news is, people who believe in privacy have won class-action suits in California and Massachusetts against corporations imitating the Ministry of the Interior.
In Massachusetts, a single law firm has filed at least seven ZIP code class actions in the past 10 months, with three of them — against Kohl's, J.C. Penney and Williams-Sonoma — naming the same customer as plaintiff.The article also offers an instructive observation from Marquette Law's Bruce Boyden.
Frequent-shopper cards, which don't fall under the statutory restrictions on credit-card purchases, provide a rich lode of data on the specific purchases by specific customers.I've taken to declining such offers by growling, "No thanks, I already have the government tracking me." Usually it's good for a smile.
"A lot of consumers don't realize this, but when you sign up for those discount cards and then you use them, you're essentially trading your personal information in return for a few cents off, or a dollar off, the products you're buying," Boyden said. "It's not something they're giving away for free. You're engaged in a transaction there."