Today a local liquor store decided to swipe my identification card into their computer systems for the first time. Here’s my response.
To the management of Local Liquor Store*,
I’ve been a customer of your store for about a year now. My husband and I stop by to stock up for parties. Your staff are always very friendly and helpful. I am writing because today I purchased a bottle of liquor at your counter. I was paying in cash. The clerk asked to see my identification so that she could verify my age. I handed it to her, and she immediately swiped it into your computer system without my consent.
While I understand that you need to check identification, I do not consent to having my personal information stored in your computer systems for any length of time. I value my privacy and I do not want my location or purchasing habits tracked. Moreover, my personal information is valuable and you have provided me with no assurances regarding the security of your systems.
By law, I am required to show proper identification to prove that I am over the legal age to purchase alcohol. This does not imply that I consent to having you record my identification details. If you insist that your customers submit to having our personal information recorded in order to make purchases, you should clearly inform us and ask permission before swiping.
When I told your store clerk that I did not want my information stored in your computer systems, she said that it was only stored for “about 800 swipes” and that she was required to swipe driver’s licenses of anyone born after 1980. This is discriminatory. Do people under the age of twenty-nine have less right to privacy than those above?
Montana’s constitution protects our rights to privacy in this state. We should be able to go to the store without having our identification and whereabouts tracked. Identity theft is also a big problem, and spreading our personal information around puts us at greater risk.
I like your store and have been a good customer for some time. However, I value my privacy above all. I hope you will consider changing your policy regarding tracking shoppers, because I enjoyed being one of your customers. Until then, I will be shopping elsewhere.
Thank you for your time.
* Store name has been changed. You probably guessed that.
|PGP-signed text: 2009-09-12 (current)|