Why...do you suppose that several major grocery store food chains...

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have those "Value Shopper Cards." Do you know what I am talking about? Those "Smiths Fresh Values, frequent shopper cards" and the Safeway Club Cards for example.

The stores tell you that you receive "X" number of dollars in savings if you shop at their store and use the discount card.

But in order to get the card, you must have a picture I.D. and fill out a store form giving your name and address and telephone number.

Your personal information then becomes attached to your discount card number. This wouldn't puzzle me, except for the fact that your card bar code is scanned across the barcode reader at the check out, in order to receive the mark down on your food purchase. This scanning action also puts into a store mainframe how many items YOU purchased, what time of day YOU shop, which stores YOU shop at, etc., etc.

Why does a major grocer need to archive all this personal information about the spending habits of their regular shoppers?

Could this information be used for other purposes?

Why do you suppose, the stores involved don't just hand out these discount cards without requiring some sort of registration?

I have had these cards for over two years and have never been solicted by phone or received personal flyers from these stores, so the registration isn't to sell you anything extra, it seems to be just for information gathering purposes, but to what end?

-- Coupon Clipper (Shopper@various.stores), November 08, 1999


The grocery stores will sell this data to health insurance companies. Eat too much fat and your insurance will get more expensive. Also it is a good idea to purchase alcohol and cigarettes at a store that doesn't use these cards.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), November 08, 1999.

PLEASE dont start this again. "Conspiracy #1490 - Supermarket discount card info is used to track people for future use by the government".

-- hamster (hamster@mycage.com), November 08, 1999.

What does this have to do with y2k?

-- (what@me.paranoid?), November 08, 1999.

I've never been asked for a photo ID, but where I live these often double as check-cashing cards. I don't doubt, though, that the marketing departments and junk mail outlets get a lot of info from these.

-- Thinman (thinman38@hotmail.com), November 08, 1999.

Target marketing. No big conspiracy here, just the pursuit of profit driving this. The more you know about your customers, the better you can spend your marketing dollars. The better you can upsell, cross sell, and tailor your campaigns to the demographics of your customer base.

Grocery stores in particular operate on very low margins and every detail about the spending habits of their customer base gives them potentially useful information to further target your pocketbook.

I choose not to participate in such 'Value Card' offers but I'm not especially paranoid about it either... as long as participation is voluntary...

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), November 08, 1999.

Could this information be used to monitor hoarding, perhaps?

Why do major grocers need to know how many bars of soap YOU buy?

Don't say it is for inventory purposes. The scanned bar codes take care of the inventory process, without knowing who YOU are.

Conspiracy theory? I don't know about that, but it is truly amazing that the government does seem to have a mania for collecting, analzying and storing all types of personal data on its citizenry from monitoring the year and make of automobile you own and drive, to the towns you have lived in, to the type of toothpaste you use.

Again, to what end is all of this personal information gathering used for? It may sound paranoid, but for everyone to voluntarily just submit all personal information on every aspect of our daily lives does really make us all "Sheeple" after all...doesn't it?

-- Coupon Clipper (Shopper@various.stores), November 08, 1999.

I don't use those cards and I don't let my wife either. It's just no ones business what we buy. If someone demanded that they be allowed into my home to inventory my cupboard I wouldn't let them do that either.

The one use I could immediately see is for insurance companies. You know, "your household consumes too much red meat or too many ho-hos so we're bumping up your rates".

Either way it's your privacy, and if you want to keep it, the burden falls on your shoulders...


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), November 08, 1999.


Who said anything about government? Who said anything about conspiracy?

You are an annoying little retard. You scamper from thread to thread trying to discredit everything that is discussed, yet you never even ATTEMPT to disprove it or tell us what YOU think is the reason.

If you don't think that corporations buy and sell data to each other you must be living inside Richard Gere's butt. It is just plain old smart business from their point of view. Information gives them power, and it can be used for reasons which your pea-brain cannot imagine. Get back into your wheel and stay there!

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), November 08, 1999.

Arnie is right. The purpose of those cards, known as "loyalty cards" in retail is to understand what you and other card holders buy so that the stores can adjust what they buy and what the market will bear in pricing. Technology is getting to the point where a user could log into a kiosk at the store and learn about all the specials for the brands they buy based upon their buying history. did you ever look at the savings coupons you get at the checkout counter with your tape? More target marketing

Given the problems most corporations have in getting out of their own way, I do not buy into any conspiracy theory. I respond enough on this site, that it should be clear to all that I am in the 4-6 level crowd.

The government is welcome to figure out that I buy cat food, canned tomatoes, turkey franks, and other delicacies. They can run the food store information tapes on one of the 55,000 mainframe systems that are in deep doo doo... :)

-- Nancy (wellsnl@hotmail.com), November 08, 1999.

Aside from the marketing stradegy, I can see our government targeting obesity from the "let us protect you from yourself" aspect.

Cigarette manufacturers, smoking and smokers have been the target of this administrations wrath and policy makers for several years now. I can foresee where the national media could run several stories in the upcoming year making fat people into "food felons" and making overeating very much so, more than now, totally socially unacceptable and irresponsible, especially in light of this administrations efforts to social medicine. Peer pressure and a media blitz about the dangers to your health and the annual costs involved in treating obesity related illnesses could cause many fat people to diet off that extra weight in order to conform to the government standard. Be happy in your work...isn't that a MAO saying. Maybe someone out there can come up with a catch phrase for those with "dunlaps disease"

-- Coupon Clipper (Shopper@various.stores), November 08, 1999.

"The purpose of those cards, known as "loyalty cards" in retail is to understand what you and other card holders buy so that the stores can adjust what they buy and what the market will bear in pricing."

Don't think so. They have been doing that already with the barcode scanners for decades.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), November 08, 1999.

I agree with Hawk.

"hamster" IS an annoying little retard!

"Conspiracy theory" is a technique of disinformation used to marginalize information that our self-appointed overseers wish to keep from us. It involves leaking truth mixed with implausible fantasy, often delivered in a hysterical, over-the-top fashion, or as fiction. It channels forbidden knowledge into intellectual and cultural ghettos, defining them as aberrant confabulation or mere entertainment. Our fear and vanity conspire against us in this, as we have a natural tendency to avoid the responsibility of knowledge, and few of us have the courage to openly hold beliefs that "everyone knows" are "ridiculous" and unworthy of serious investigation. Disinformation is the cloak.

The dagger will be apparent shortly.

-- Dr. Polymorph (youknowmore@thanyouthink.com), November 08, 1999.


I am so torn. I don't know whether to discourage or encourage some of your more descriptive responses, I hate to admit but you always make me ROTFALMAO ;-)

-- rotflmao (karlacalif@aol.com), November 08, 1999.

LOL Karla!! I just try to tell it like I see it! At least I didn't use profanity THIS time (sometimes it IS appropriate!).

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), November 08, 1999.

Thankyou Dr Polymorph,that was wonderful definition of the disinformation that is accelerating everyday

May I quote you?

-- matt (whome@somewhere.nz), November 08, 1999.

Shop at several different places. Pass up some "savings" opportunities if you are concerned about security. For example, pay cash, don't use a discount card, etc...

-- Mr. Mike (mikeabn@aol.com), November 08, 1999.

Hawk swoops down....gulp...eats hamster! hee hee

hamster has been scurrying around leaving little inane droppings that smelled peculiarly trollish in odor... pee yoo

We received a Costco recall for a product we bought over a year ago. They know exactly what and how much you buy.

How many spin articles and defamatory speeches have already used the word 'hoarding' before there is even a shortage of food and supplies?

Can you spell scapegoat?

Got a hiding place?

-- Cerealkiller (funny@town.com), November 08, 1999.

They do if you let them. So don't let them. Look, it is probably very correct that you are simply seeing a means to collect data about customers... Doesn't matter, It is in the database. Will it ever be used for other purposes, well, hell yes! So don't let them collect it. No ATM card used in the past 7 years here... Never had one of those preferred cards here... Just don't accept their little ideas and gimmicks. It is not the people who come up with these things you have to worry about, they are geeks like me with the execption that they don't actually believe anyone would use the info for anything else. I do believe that data in a database is usefull for many purposes... but then 'data mining' might be something to search out on the web.

-- (...@.......), November 08, 1999.


If memory serves, Hamster is a GI who has presented knowledgable Y2K info in the past. Hamster just does not seem to believe in the chemtrail, NWO, Klintin is satan, kill the gun grabber, black helicopter, wako, fractional reserve banking is the devil, liberals suck theory so prevalent on this board. I always enjoy your posts, but Hamster probably represents the lurkers on this board much better than you or I.


-- Uhmm.. (jfcp81a@aol.com), November 08, 1999.

I agree with Arnie. The Country Mart chain that has stores here in SW Okla also has such a bar-coded plastic card. I always get one from the register(claiming that I forgot mine at home), and then never fill out the requested info and don't send it in. They can waive it all day long in front of the scanner - it has no personal info in their system ------but I still get the "discount" on their sale items. Try it; you'll like it!!!

-- jeanne (jeanne@hurry.now), November 08, 1999.

Just make sure you shop at a place with those old, old IBM or NCR check out computers. Wait 53 days, and don't think anything else about it !!!!

-- This (IsY2K@UKnow.com), November 08, 1999.

Hawk is an impotent old man who can find nothing better to do than make nasty remarks. Why people find you funny, I don't know. Birds of a feather I guess. Bwhahahaha

-- (AvoidingHawk@POOP.com), November 08, 1999.

I just took my purchases to the front cashier and made a long face when asked for the card. Then I truthfully explained the hurry that I was in and the inconvenience for them to register me at this late hour anyway. I got a card.

Sometimes I forget my card. Just about anyone standing in line will loan me the use of their card because this builds up points that can supposedly be cashed for some or other discount.

-- NastyGLick (nasty@Idontknow.com), November 08, 1999.


You are so correct in your analysis of the poster Hawk, who until a recent operation used the handle @. You can find this wacko idiot joined at the hip with Andy and AisA. Need I say more? He and the rest of those stooges have discovered conspiracies where none exist and continue to paint themselves as the morons they are. Not to worry Hamster, this Hawk wont hunt.

-- Truth (at@the.ready), November 08, 1999.

Ultimately, these cards will allow astute retailers to customize sale offers, coupons, etc. to the perceived needs of the individual customer. They are also used for check cashing here (so the picture id part...).

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), November 08, 1999.


You don't deserve a name like that because you wouldn't know the truth if it fell on your stupid face.

To others, I am only suggesting that you should THINK before giving this kind of data about yourself away. I use one of these cards, but under a totally fictitous name and address. In fact I just saw this story featured on the news and the said they never heard of anyone being denied a card for NOT providing identification or a social security number. Why volunteer it if you don't have to?

Hamster, "Truth", and anyone else who doesn't think the gubmint can use this data, consider this. Suppose some poison Halloween candy or other food ends up killing innocent people. Where do you think the government is going to look to see who bought that type of product? Bingo! You don't have to believe it, but don't be suprised if the FBI shows up at your door asking you a lot of questions. Did you give out that particular brand of candy for Halloween? They have been known to send innocent people to prison for years.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), November 08, 1999.

[rant on]

There are several things about these discount/loyalty cards that bother me:

1. Your info is in their database FOREVER - formatted at any current or future time to derive/analyze anything anyone wishes

2. What other companies have access to this information? Does your grocer have a parent company or other merchandiser where they might benefit by sending you catalogs etc.

3. The info used for insurance thingy

4. They also make sure you cannot buy specials and then come back and get some more of a limited sale supply

5. This is as bad as going through celebrity trash and then putting it on the front page of a tabloid - No card no way just ate a chocolate bar, call the candy police!

6. A million other uses for this kind of personal information that I will never think of until it is too late to do anything about it.

[rant off]

-- No card no way (nocardhere@uhhuh.com), November 08, 1999.

I've got a keyring full of those little cards - and I love them!! Get great discounts at the register. They can keep track all they want of what, when and where I buy anything. I don't care who they sell the information to.

But - - - - the name they got is not mine. The address is not mine. I opted out for the check cashing feature. I pay with cash.

-- mom (mom@mom.com), November 08, 1999.

Give them a fake name and faker address. Of course when you are done tnd they say thank you Hillory or Mrs. Clinton, you have to remember that they are talking to you. Safeway also has limits on some things you buy, you get it discounted the first time, but after that you pay full price, so get a lot of different cards so you can get the cheepie price more than once.

I don't mind buying the food and saving 25-40% on what I buy, I would not be so dumb as to pay the non-card price! I like saving money. It allows me to buy more for the same amount.

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), November 09, 1999.

Who cares if the govt knows what we eat?

-- ChefTRD (cheftrd@10002304.cia.gov), November 09, 1999.

mom and cherrie,

Don't know if you ladies noticed, but at my grocery store as soon as they started issuing the cards they jacked all the prices up. Then they tell you how much you "saved" because they discount it back to the normal price when you use the card!

Cherrie that's a good idea, I do actually have 2 cards at the same store because I forgot it once and just filled out another fake name and got another!

"No card", that's the part that worries me is what kind of world it will be in 10 years and what they will use our information for THEN. I love screwing up their database by giving them the name of a nonexistant person! screw

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), November 09, 1999.

Hawk, maybe you are just to high or retarded. In your first attack you state 'who is talking about the government' but just above you use the government would be hunting you down if someone gave out poison candy.

Face it, you are paranoid and you proved it. You attack me and then turn around and use the exact statement which justifies me using the "Conspiracy Theory #1490" thing in the beginning.

-- hamster (hamster@mycage.com), November 09, 1999.

Are you people living on the same planet that I am???????? Do this:

Go to Yahoo and type in "people search." Bring up someone's address. Right next to the address there is a box that you can check if you want more information on the person. If you have $$$$, you can get anyone's life history.

WHO GIVES A DAMN ABOUT A GROCERY STORE CARD?????????????? It's all there for ANYONE who wants it.... right on the internet. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- (Super@saver.com), November 09, 1999.

Gotta agree with the Chef.

Yall worry about the wrong stuff......


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), November 09, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

It doesn't matter what the original reason is for collecting the information. It may be all very much on the up and up. Never-the-less... if Y2K is a bad bounce, there may be people two years from now who are so hungry that they spend 80% of their waking minutes thinking about food. People like that would be highly motivated to track down some of these systems, and find a way to get those computers running. They'll be able to print out a geographically organized list of frequent buyers of SPAM, long shelf-life yeast, salmon, tuna, chili, velveeta, shelf stable ham, powdered milk, just whites, baking powder, butter buds, vitamins...

Who cares if these people are with the Federal Bureau to Combat Hoarding, or the grocery store president, or hackers? I don't.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), November 10, 1999.

The grocers do NOT need to know what you, individually, order for purposes of stocking their shelves. The aggregate sales of all customers are all they need to know for their LEGITIMATE purposes.

It's as simple as that. The "loyalty" cards are solely for the purpose of gathering data. For whom, and why, you and I don't know. But I do know that it's not to do US any good.

I have one of the cards. At the chain I shop at, I got the card under a fake name and address -- no ID required -- because I don't use the card for check cashing, AND because I insisted on not producing ID.

-- A (A@AisA.com), November 10, 1999.

bfd my last name starts with a c but i put a g down on the app. it still sounds the same hence the phrase (gigo=garbage in, garbage out) little things like this screw up their database(s)on me (and you)

-- xox.oxo (xox@oxo.net), November 12, 1999.

Forget about Groceries. Just Try this out your self. Tare-out with your bare hand a bar code off any book while Holding the book by the cover ...feel the energy released ! Do it a couple more time with any bar code and look at your Finger tips - !!!!!! Burn by no fire Get rid of bar code in your surrounding and along goes with it The strange buzzing which you hear in your ears... This is a highly complicated matter ...but you can start by doing some experiments on your own

-- eddie (ed@babil.org), August 30, 2003.

Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering


-- (F@A.Qs), September 02, 2003.

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