Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tin Foil Hat

I wear a tin foil hat. Well, not quite, but close. I do most of my shopping in cash. I refuse to get rewards cards from any company at all. I even go as far as writing bad reviews about places which want me to sign up for their cards to get special deals. If they can't be bothered with giving me a good deal, I can't be bothered with carrying around their card.

This particular habit usually saves me money. Paying data miners is something stores would only do if they make more money off of customers by doing it. I don't want stores to take more of my money, so I don't want to shop at these stores. In my particular area, the cheap stores such as Food For Less, Superior, Henry's, and 99 Ranch don't have rewards programs. The expensive stores such as Costco(yes, Costco is expensive compared to where I shop) Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons all want me to sign up for cards so they can track me.

On the internet I run the track me not, and taco applications in the hopes to make me harder to track as I move around the internet. My bad habit of staying logged into facebook and google probably kills this attempt though.

Still, I doubt if this does more than thwart a handful of companies. I still shop on on occasion. So they have a huge database on my preferences. I still use a debit card on occasion for expenses like car repair and I pay all bills in checks so I am willing to bet my bank account is spying on me. I have hotel and airline rewards programs, although those are almost entirely for business travel so I am not sure they can find any information they can really use to extract more money from me.

Anyways, here is an article about just how large a foe I am up against. They can't track my cash purchases, but I would be shocked if they don't have all the demographic information they could ever want.

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