loyalty programs explained
Kevin Drum gives the skinny on those supermarket loyalty programs. As I do most of the grocery shopping, I carry those li'l plastic cards and use them (I love it when the cashier recites how much I "saved," because as Drum points out, the non-program price is usually inflated. Every week I'm aware of making another entry into the supermarket's database, and also aware of how cheaply I'm "selling" that info. So far I've compensated by lending my card to anyone who needs it--any bad data I can provide--but what I really need to do is cut up my existing card and sign up for a new one with bogus info. The store would still get a record of my purchases, but it'd be tied to intentionally inaccurate demographic data.