Re: Information Harvesting at Retail Stores

From: andy smart (
Date: 04/18/05

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    Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 14:37:19 +0100

    Jim Watt wrote:
    > On Fri, 15 Apr 2005 08:50:16 -0400, Edw. Peach <>
    > wrote:
    >>I often shop at a computer store in my area called MicroCenter. They
    >>are really quite good, well stocked, with great prices. I've noticed
    >>the cashiers are relentless about getting the email and home addresses
    >>from each customer. The first time this happened, I recalled that
    >>article I read about information harvesting. For that reason, I
    >>refused to give her any of my information. She told me it was
    >>necessary in case I had any problems with my purchased item.
    >>Funny...I thought that's what a hardcopy receipt was all about. I
    >>told her I'd take my chances with just the receipt.
    > I've visited microcenter in Cambridge MA a few times and its
    > an excellent shop.
    > The request for an address might be legitimate to verify card
    > details, OTOH sounds more like harvesting data for marketing
    > and resale. My Gibraltar PO box number is all I give and it
    > does not attract unsolicited mail.
    > I used to give 10, Dowing St, London W1 in the UK but did have
    > one shop refuse to sell me something as for some reason they
    > did not belive I lived there...
    > --
    > Jim Watt
    Of course they didn't! You live at number 10 DowNing street you fool! :-)

    In the UK one of the computer shops can't give you a VAT recipt for your
    business unless you give them the full address - but I've not found one
    that asks for that info from 'ordinary' customers. Normally you'd only
    need this for warranty, and you register that directly with the
    maker. Mind you we also have the data protection act which limits and
    constrains the way in which your data is collected/stored/used

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