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Thread: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

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    CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

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    By DAVID MERCER, Associated Press Writer David Mercer, Associated Press Writer
    Wed Mar 10, 10:03 pm ET

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – As they scrambled recently to trace the source of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds around the country, investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention successfully used a new tool for the first time — the shopper cards that millions of Americans swipe every time they buy groceries.
    With permission from the patients, investigators followed the trail of grocery purchases to a Rhode Island company that makes salami, then zeroed in on the pepper used to season the meat.
    Never before had the CDC successfully mined the mountain of data that supermarket chains compile.
    "It was really exciting. It was a break in the investigation for sure," CDC epidemiologist Casey Barton Behravesh said.
    At least 245 people in 44 states have been sickened in the outbreak. That includes 30 in California, 19 in Illinois, 18 in New York and 17 in Washington state.
    The victims included Raymond Cirimele, a 55-year-old Chicago man. He said no one asked for his shopper-card data, but he would have provided it if someone had.
    "I don't have any secrets, so I'm not worried about it," he said. "It's kind of like the whole airport security and all that. I'd rather fly on a safe plane."
    Shopper cards have been around for more than a decade, offering customers discounts in exchange for letting supermarkets track their buying habits. The cards are used to build customer loyalty and help stores market their products.
    I think most people would consider this a good thing, recent privacy issues aside, but given the current distrust of govt I think people are worried about the govt overreaching. These patients may have felt compelled or gave consent out of short term self interest, but I wonder if they would feel the same had they not been a victim.
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    Re: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

    Another reason to like cash.
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    Re: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

    Provided it is voluntary and on a case by case basis it is not a problem


    That said I dont use shopper cards
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    Re: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Provided it is voluntary and on a case by case basis it is not a problem


    That said I dont use shopper cards
    Shopper cards are nothing more than a gimick to sell you overpriced items, while letting you think you got a good deal. I now shop at Food Town, which has no cards, but saves me about 30% on my food bill over Kroger, and that's with their card.
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    Re: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Provided it is voluntary and on a case by case basis it is not a problem


    That said I dont use shopper cards
    I've never seen a grocery store that forces you to use a shopper card. If you think somehow the lists of food items you buy are used for some nefarious purpose, then don't use one.

    I, for one, can't really figure out why anyone beyond marketing/advertising folks would want to know how often I buy butter. Nor would I care that they do. I guess my sense of privacy doesn't apply to things that are of no consequence.

    edit: "Mr. Smith... we see that you've been buying beer despite your being in alcoholics anonymous. We need you to break into the Chinese Consulate and steal the intelligence files. Do so, or we'll tell your wife."
    Last edited by Deuce; 03-12-10 at 06:07 PM.
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    Re: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    Shopper cards are nothing more than a gimick to sell you overpriced items, while letting you think you got a good deal.
    Yes! I can't tell you how many people refuse to acknowlege this. They have this deep-seated belief that their Kroger card is a magic, money saving device.

    The other thing I CAN'T STAND about Kroger - other than 3/4 of the store inventory being "on sale" at any given time - is that the sale price is always something like "12 for $8.49." It's like you need a calculator to make any sort of informed buying decision.

    Boo!

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    Re: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Provided it is voluntary and on a case by case basis it is not a problem


    That said I dont use shopper cards
    On occasion, I've been known to use one belonging to Mrs. Jones who lives at 1234 main street.

    Whether there's any salmonella there, I guess the government will never know.

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    Re: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

    The truth behind Shopping Cards most people would claim is a CONSPIRACY THEORY.

    Pick any item at a major chain store like Safeway for example since as far as I can remember they wer first to come up with the card idea. Other stores quickly followed suit. This was over 10 years ago as I recall.

    Let's use a loaf of Store brand bread as our test case.

    The cost of the loaf is $1.00 if you have a Shopping Card and $1.25 if you don't.

    What is the reasoning behind the difference in price?

    Does it cost less to produce it because you have singed up for the card or is it because they want you to think you are getting a deal buy allowing you are getting a good deal because you are now allowing them to track your every purchase?

    They are in essence selling you an item at the regular price and penalizing you if you don't give them permission to track what you buy.

    Why do they want to know what you buy?

    They started out saying it was to be able to use the information to better target special sales etc. for you specifically.

    Have they ever done that?

    Not that I have ever seen.

    Shortly after Safeway began issuing the cards an older man say 60 years old slipped on a wet spot in the produce section of a store and was injured pretty bad from it.

    At trail in the law suit that followed the Lawyer for Safeway presented a record of the man's purchases. In that list was like a case of beer the day before.

    Safeway tried to say that the purchase indicated that the man might have been impaired at the time of the fall because of his consumption of of too much beer.

    The judge to his credit threw out that purchase evidence because Safeway stated the reason for the use of the CARD was to allow for better promotional targeting and the man's purchases were not relevant because Safeway could not determine from the information available when the man consumed the beer or how much, or whether the floor was wet at the time of the fall.

    Safeway settled the case in favor of the injured man.

    Around that same time Applied Digital Solutions, came up with the VeriChip Digital Angel RFID Radio Tracking Identification Device which was to be implanted between the shoulder and elbow area of an individual’s right hand to allow tracking of an individual from a distance of a few meters.

    It was said that it would be a great way to help locate kidnapped children. elderly people with Alzheimer s, and or identify soldiers killed in battle.

    It could also be used to allow advertiser's to place a tracking censor say on a side walk and as you went buy would trigger an advertisement to a specific person either by name or use of a data base collected through previous purchases to target a person.

    As we become more and more used to having everything we do tracked the reality of such a system becomes more likely, and the information about everything we do as individuals becomes more and more valuable.

    Note the push too have all your medical records put into a data base.

    Also note the expansion of the Nanny State wanting to limit your SALT & SUGAR intake along with your consumption of certain types of oils used in making French Fries.

    One day you may go into a grocery store and want to buy an item like say, beer but you bought a 12 pack the day before. When you come to the counter you either have an RFID implant or more likely in the beginning an RFID chip in a universal purchase or even you drivers license that is scanned and your purchase is restricted. The same could appy to someone who id diabetic not being allowed to buy sugar or someone with high blood pressure Not being allowed to purchase salt.

    Wow! You say this is all over the top nuts, but apply your logical thinking. Why else is all this technology being applied track your purchases, yor medical record being digitized and RFID being applied to Passports today.

    What is the end game?

    I would never have guessed a time would come when a Nanny State would force a Socialist Health Care Plan into law against the wishes of WE THE PEOPLE either but it's about to happen without the required votes in Congress.

    Look at the talk in NY about SALT being restricted from use in restaurants in NY or the attacks on the sale of soda in schools, or Michelle Obama's calling her own children fat to push for more control of what children eat and do.

    It all sounds good and I would like to see a Healthier America, but at what cost.

    Who wants to wake up one day and find that you are restricted what you can think do say eat and being told how to live in a brave new restrictive world.

    The CDC is following salmonella is a case in point of using this technology for an unintended purpose and it could be only the beginning.

    Just think about is.

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    Re: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

    I hate Safeway. I hate their corporate scripting and their F-ing Club Cards.

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    Re: CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

    you know..

    people can just say "no thanks" when the cashier asks "do you want to sign up for our card?"
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