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BudNet Tracks Your Suds

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the beer-run dept.

The Internet 712

An anonymous reader writes "CNN is carrying a story about Budweiser's national internal sales tracking network called BudNET. It allows Anheuser-Busch to instantly track sales across the country, and 'If Anheuser-Busch loses shelf space in a store in Clarksville, Tennessee, they know it right away.' It brings up some interesting privacy issues, because according to the article 'The last time you bought a six-pack of Bud Light at the Piggly Wiggly, Anheuser servers most likely recorded what you paid, when that beer was brewed, whether you purchased it warm or chilled, and whether you could have gotten a better deal down the street.' Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."

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712 comments

Quite frankly... (4, Funny)

MoxCamel (20484) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387673)

...if you're drinking Budweiser, you've got bigger problems.

Re:Quite frankly... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387709)

If you are concerned with the beer that other people drink, and you feel that it is not up to your standard of beer, you are a moron.

Re:Quite frankly... (5, Insightful)

leifm (641850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387757)

For real. And who cares the they data mine anyway, it's not like they're tracking any one individual's purchases.

Re:Quite frankly... (5, Funny)

Megor1 (621918) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387829)

Hey I don't think they should be able to track something some critical as water purchases.

Re:Quite frankly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387841)

No doubt, you're an idiot if you aren't paying at least $1.25 per 12 ounces of fermented grains.

Re:Quite frankly... (4, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387867)

I had a few pints of ale last night (Mardi Gras, ya know :o) and have no worries about privacy issues with regard to Spudweiser. For one, I don't drink their 'beer' as it tastes like water compared to my usual tipple.

I can understand their interest in better tracking of inventory, but it done be amazing the lengths they go for profit other than to improve their brands. I'm sure they, like Miller and others, picked up a few microbreweries during the boom in the 90's, but if they watered them down like their own flagship brand then it's a self-defeating measure. (Budweiser shorts on expensive malted barley, using 40% rice)

I've known enough people who work in stores (or have worked for distributors) and the pressure for sales space (particularly at the expense of competitors) usually is waged with inducements, like clocks, TV's, trips to the Super Bowl, etc.

After all the advertising, all the tactics, all the analysis, it's still like Eric Idle said. It's worth pointing out to Bud fans, who stand by their 'beer' like it's Mom, Apple Pie and the Flag, that this company didn't become hugely profitable by following the Reinheitsgebot.

Re:Quite frankly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387888)

Well, there's always the old joke.

Q: What does having sex in a boat and drinking Budweiser have in common?

A: They're both fucking close to water.

I'd be more concerned . . . (4, Funny)

Clemence (16887) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387676)

. . . about admitting you drink Bud.

Easy solution! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387680)

Don't buy Bud. It's industrial swill anyway.

Drink a good locally produced microbrew instead.

Re:Easy solution! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387728)

> Drink a good locally produced microbrew instead.

But shop at Amazon online.

Re:Easy solution! (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387786)

Man, that was funny. You used the exact same subject line and suggestion I was about to write.

Seriously though...odds of not being able to find another beer of the same quality? Very low.

These guys obviously care about their cash...make it in their best interests to discontinue this program by not buying it anymore.

Piggly-Wiggly? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387683)

People (men, in particular) will actually enter a store called Piggy-Wiggly when not accompanied by an infant?

Re:Piggly-Wiggly? (1)

bee-yotch (323219) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387848)

Hey well if they're buying bud, they might be liable to do anything ;-)...

Re:Piggly-Wiggly? (4, Interesting)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387895)

Incidentally, Piggly-Wiggly was the first grocer to come up with the astounding idea of self-service grocery stores, rather than letting the clerk collect and package your purchases. Clarence Saunders even patented the idea.

Piggly-Wiggly's success led to a number of copycat chains, quite a few of which decided to also copy the astoundingly dumb naming convention in addition to the whole self-serve thing.

Just pay with cash (5, Insightful)

javatips (66293) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387689)

Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands.

Just pay with cash and they'll never know it was you!

Re: Just pay with cash (0)

elwell642 (754833) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387891)

Precisely...

Paranoid drunks with a credit card - just what the world needs more of!

Re:Just pay with cash (5, Informative)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387917)

Just pay with cash and they'll never know it was you!

Unfortunately, at a growing number of stores, including every single grocery store in my area, thay want you to carry and use a card that identifies you to the system even if you do pay cash. Of course, you can not cary a card, but then you don't get any of the sale prices, and more and more items seem to be "on sale". Of course, the sale prices are still higher than the items were before the cards, and higher than the items are in areas where they don't have the cards. So yes, you can pay cash, but be prepaired to pay a few bucks extra if you want to retain your privacy.

so they can crowd out everyone else of course (2, Funny)

connorbd (151811) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387690)

Anheuser-Busch: the Wal-Mart of beer. They can't stand the competition either...

The world need more of this fun good stuff (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387694)

Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I cho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387696)


Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands

Let's keep the comments in the comments, and the headline in the headline.

Have we forgotten the lessons of our youth? (0)

LNO (180595) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387697)

If you don't want them tracking your name, then get your friend's older brother to loan you his ID, or hang around outside the store asking if someone will just pick you up a case.

Come now, our youth wasn't that long ago, was it?

Re:Have we forgotten the lessons of our youth? (2, Insightful)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387879)

If you don't want them tracking your name, then get your friend's older brother to loan you his ID, or hang around outside the store asking if someone will just pick you up a case.

On this note, why is the legal drinking age in the USA so much higher than it is in Europe (typically, 21 vs 18)? My own personal hypothesis is that the need for cars to get to/from bars in the USA (due to their spread-out nature) means that DUI problems would skyrocket if the drinking age were lowered to 18. Anyone else have some suggestions?

i think this (5, Insightful)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387705)

I think this is a little more paranoia than we need.

If you bought directly from budweiser, they would know what you paid for, if it was cold, etc. So pipe down.

They can't really single out a person, or name a customer, there's no privacy issues here, at all. Just a company doing inventory control, to an extreme.

Re:i think this (1)

RandomDesign (637121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387845)

Agreed. I wish the company I work for had that level of control!

FUN FACT: MICHAEL CAN FIT A BEER CAN IN HIS ANUS! (-1)

Subject Line Troll (581198) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387849)

Inventory Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387868)

As the parent stated, this is just inventory control. Personally I like the idea of AB trying to keep a constant flow of beer going and not just sitting on shelves. I do not like skunky beer (or beer with rice in it for that matter :) ).

Who you calling paranoid?! (4, Funny)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387901)

I think this is a little more paranoia than we need.

But drinking Bud always makes me that way.

Re:i think this (5, Insightful)

PeelBoy (34769) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387916)

Exactly..
"Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."
And how would they know when you purchased other brands?

Cash ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387706)

Pay cash

Since when... (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387713)

> Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."

... has Budweiser sold beer?

Re:Since when... (5, Funny)

Sique (173459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387815)

Since 15th April 1895 [budvar.cz] .

Oh, you are asking, since when Anheuser-Busch sold beer? I really don't know.

Editors, please. (1)

bad enema (745446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387717)

"I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands"

I suspect some of these editors don't want us knowing when they choose to drink on the job versus purifying these stories from spelling errors.

RIIGHT (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387718)

Like the pigley wiggley will have a register that will even know that its ringing up bud...

RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHHHT

Budweiser sells beer? (3, Funny)

JoshuaDFranklin (147726) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387721)

I didn't know about that, I'll have to try it sometime. All I knew about is their piss-colored-water stuff.

jeez. enough already (1)

The Other White Boy (626206) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387724)

i understand privacy concerns as much as the next guy. but really, in this particular instance (and a few others i could think of), WHO CARES? this is not exactly a matter of life or death. so a company knows where/how you bought one of THEIR products? and not even a life/credit/whatever altering purchase, we're talking a few dollars worth of beer? someone alert the friggin press.

John Kerry said he is against gay marriage (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387725)

Gee, I thought it was just Bush.

Think about it this way... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387872)

If that amemdment gets passed (HIGHLY unlikely, IMHO, but still) at least we don't have to see Michael and CowboyNeil tie the knot.

They're perfectly welcome to know... (3, Funny)

DdJ (10790) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387729)

...that I never, ever buy their beer. Bletch. It's darks and stouts for me, none of this "making love in a canoe" crap.

break out the tin foil hats. (5, Insightful)

kasper37 (90457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387733)

They aren't tracking YOU, they are tracking the beer. Unless I'm missing something, they have no way of connecting any one person with any one beer.

In Soviate USSR (5, Funny)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387737)

Urine tastes like American beer.

Irritating Paranioa (4, Insightful)

e.m.rainey (91553) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387744)

Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands.

Then, don't buy bud!

They're not tracking individual customer purchases (5, Informative)

elflet (570757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387745)

According to the article "They're drilling down to the level of the individual store," Thompson says. "They can pinpoint if customers are gay, Latino, 30-year-old, college-educated conservatives.

They do that in two ways (again, according to the article): a "nightly sweep of their distributors' databases" and 2) on-site visits by sales reps who notice how the store is set up, whether it's selling room-temp or chilld beer (or both), and probably noting the class of customers.

Despite Michael's concerns, there's nothing in there about tying to individual customer purchases or even getting explicit sales data on competitors' products.

Re:They're not tracking individual customer purcha (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387814)

I'm not going to defend michael, but he didn't add any editorial to the story (this time). The concerns were of the submitter.

Re:They're not tracking individual customer purcha (1)

BloodSpite (751523) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387847)

And by sending random people to look for homeless bums in the ditch close to the store sucking down the stuff.......

Re:They're not tracking individual customer purcha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387909)

drink enough bud and you too could be drilling down into a gay, Latino, 30-year-old, college-educated conservative. yummy.

A bit of perspective (1)

Irish-DnB (161087) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387748)

I don't think we need to get out the tin foil hats just yet. To me this just seems like a bog standard data warehouse app like any supermarket chain would have. I mean, it's not as if a budweiser employee stands behind the counter and records your personal details everytime you buy a sixpack.

Re:A bit of perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387908)

Ha!! I loved the 'tin-foil hats' comment. Made my day.

BUDWEISER IS SHIT (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387751)

BUDWEISER IS SHIT

MOD UP! INSIGHTFUL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387812)

Mod up! It's pisswater!

Re:BUDWEISER IS SHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387855)

I was going to post a long and introspective post with several amusing anecdotes from personal life and brief nudity involved in uncharacteristic locations.

But the parent pretty much summed up my punchline.

I'll tell them when I buy their beer (0, Flamebait)

analog_line (465182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387752)

"Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."

Hey, Budweiser, if you're watching, I buy your beer NEVER. Because it sucks.

Oh no! (4, Informative)

Rura Penthe (154319) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387759)

Yes, who knows what sinister things Bud will do with information they legally gleaned. Of course legal doesn't necessarily mean moral or right, but in this case I fail to see how Anheuser-Busch is going to violate your rights or do anything with the modicum of information they gather. Hell, I can't even find any info in the article that points to anything about tying a purchase to an individual rather than a store.

Thankfully... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387764)

I don't drink beer, any type, period. Ha ha ha!

Oh, crap, I hear rumors of PepsiNet...!

* dons tin foil hat made from aluminum cans *

question for the ages (4, Funny)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387765)

Does Piggly Wiggly have a kosher foods aisle?

Give me an Arrogant Bastard Ale any day.. (3, Interesting)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387768)

Budweiser could stand to spend more on malt and hops instead of impressive IT systems... What's amazing is that they boast about using RICE on their beer!!! Rice is an adjunct that is used in beer to keep costs down and lighten up the body (read: make it more watery)

Ah but they don't have this system outside the US (0, Troll)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387770)

Because in Soviet Russia, Budweiser drinks YOU!

Think a bit first guy... (1)

stuph (664902) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387774)

Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands

They only know if you buy their beer, not if you buy something else... sheesh... sometimes /. paranoia is just too freaking much...

O for Pete's sake (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387775)

Pay cash. It's beer (well, it's Bud ..) it's cheap. Budweiser ain't gonna tailor their next commercial just for you even if you do charge it and they track that.

Your rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387782)

Makes me wonder... are those frogs from the commercials somewhere inside that big ol' database? I bet you could find some if you looked real hard. Makes RMS look like a toddler doesn't it?

Re:Your rights (1)

torrin (140117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387805)

Frog 1: "Bud.."
Frog 2: "wies.."
Frog 3: "All your beer buying habits belong to us"

WHAT?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387785)

Who drink this piss water anyway?!!

Ummm (1)

i_r_sensitive (697893) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387795)

How exactly is A-B supposed to know when you buy other brands than theirs?

I mean I can see their systems updating every time a six pack of Bud goes off the shelf, but how are the A-B computers supposed to know you just bought a six pack of Coors...

Assumption (5, Insightful)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387797)

The last time you bought a six-pack of Bud Light at the Piggly Wiggly, Anheuser servers most likely recorded what you paid, when that beer was brewed, whether you purchased it warm or chilled, and whether you could have gotten a better deal down the street.
You mean like what supermarkets have been doing for years (except with more resolution)?

You know I've bought a lot of embarrassing things at the corner market and haven't even gotten discount coupons for them during check-out at a subsequent visit (a shame). And to the point, I've never gotten any kind of marketing material from Trojans in the mail as a result of having bought ribbed at Safeway, so if someone's correlating my personal information with my condom-purchasing history, they're not being very enterprising (if they were, they'd have sold the information to my wife long ago).

What I'm saying is, there's a tacit assumption in the article that somehow your purchases are correlated with your name. That's more likely to be happening at your credit card company's clearinghouse than at the cashier's station.

The real Budweiser... (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387799)

...is Budvar. The stuff brewed in the USA is urinated piss in comparison.

Beer Thirty (0, Flamebait)

BloodSpite (751523) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387801)

Sounds very original and is a unique use of technology. But did it tell them that humourous commercials don't make up for Bad Beer? If not then it must be made to work with Windows.

stupid (1, Troll)

xenocyst (618913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387802)

"Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands." Frankly, you're an idiot, when the submitter doesn't understand the article you know its gotta be slashdot.

They already know when you purchase their product (1)

jdunn14 (455930) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387809)

First off, friends do let friends drink Bud. I'm concerned about my privacy too, but maybe that tagline should have been phrased a little better. Oh no, the company knew I bought their product. THEY HAVE TO RESTOCK THEIR PRODUCT. Of course they know when you bought it. As for price, I'd bet there are a lot of deals better retail outlets and companies to track what price products are sold at. Oh, and that's not a big problem either since a company could send someone into the store to look at the prices (not exactly trade secrets, regardless of claims leveled against fatwallet type sites). Gonna be hard to track my cash-paid beer purchasing habits anyway. Sorry guys, but sounds like reasonable business practices to me.

Give me a Break! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387817)

You consider this a violation of your privacy? You'd don't even own that beer until the transaction is complete. They are basically tracking something the *store owner* owns, which is no business of yours.

Who gives a crap? (0, Flamebait)

vudmaska (584760) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387819)

This is just the type of thing that i see here a lot. People crying about the injustice of systems knowing who you are and what you do. Dont do anything wrong and get over it - so that this information can be used for good things that helps everyone - like the fact that Bud is pond scum.

FLASH: Slashdot editor an idiot! (5, Insightful)

BillFarber (641417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387824)

Privacy issues because they track their own sales?

Easy hack (1)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387825)

Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands.

Don't drink Bud!

Paranoid Much? (2, Insightful)

khrustalicious (689719) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387830)

This has about as much to do with security as...well...nothing. They don't track anything about -you-. It's a clever and quick way to track product info at a store level. They're not getting anything that some guy with a clipboard couldn't get. They're just doing it much more intelligently. Not EVERY technical innovation in marketing = big brother.

Overreacting (2, Insightful)

pwackerly (697142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387833)

Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."

They don't know when you buy your Bud, just when Bud is bought!

Paraphrase of Dr. Johnny Fever (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387837)

[panic]
It's the beer police, man!
[/panic]

Abuse of "Your Rights Online" (5, Insightful)

pridkett (2666) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387840)

I'm a little confused as this isn't really your rights online and anyone that think that it is obviously didn't read the article. This is just and article talking about the information system that Bud uses to track sales of their products. It's a supply chain thing. They're not doing anything devious to go about this, just having people track prices and sales and actually doing something with data.

Anyone can tell you that beer distribution is complicated [mit.edu] , this just helps them better their distribution. Take off the tinfoil hats, nothing to see here.

That Sucks! (1)

TwP (149780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387842)

Pass me a Guinness.

Demographic data mining isn't bad. (5, Insightful)

pcx (72024) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387844)

  • 'The last time you bought a six-pack of Bud Light at the Piggly Wiggly, Anheuser servers most likely recorded what you paid, when that beer was brewed, whether you purchased it warm or chilled, and whether you could have gotten a better deal down the street.' Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."


Not you -- SOMEONE Yes Bud knows when someone purchased their product but they don't know who and unless they have a survey team out, they don't know why. Stuff like this happens all the time and for the most part it tends to make life better for all of us.

Where we have to worry is when a company starts mining all this data and does track it back to an individual person. When a credit card company or polititical/religious/charity organization can pick up the phone and find out what I watched for TV last night and what books I last bought or checked out at the library, that's when we need to be concerned.

And even if personal data-mining is possible it's no guarantee it will be used. For example, the EZ-TAG scanners on the toll roads you take can easilly compute your average speed between toll booths and issue you a speeding ticket if you were speeding but they don't. Why? Because the toll road comissioners would be voted out of office if they allowed that.

If you're buying bud and actually care about this, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387850)

...your life is probably sad enough that no one would want to track your personal habits anyway. Let's catch a glimpse at some of AB's top-secret consumer data...

Our typical customer follows this basic pattern each day:

-Wake up

-Beat wife, kids

-Go to work as an assistant manager at the local trailer park

-Drink an ice-cold bud over lunch, purchased from the Piggly Wiggly

-Finish off work day drunk

-Return home, drink a 6-er of luke warm bud -beat wife, kids

-pass out in drunken stupor on shitty trailer carpet in front of 13 inch TV

oh enough already (1)

mydigitalself (472203) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387851)

"Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."

yeah, so you choose to buy 6 Stella's from your local and next minute you've got the Budweiser SWAT team outside your house shoving their piss-poor beverage down your throat? do people not see the benefits to the consumer in these instances?

i mean if bud found that people preferred to buy beers nice and cold, then they may insist that all vendors have well-chilled bud-branded fridges FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE! but no, the SWAT team will get you.

Okay, how? (2, Interesting)

parkrrrr (30782) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387854)

The last time you bought a six-pack of Bud Light at the Piggly Wiggly, Anheuser servers most likely recorded...

what you paid,

Okay, this part is reasonable

when that beer was brewed,

I can see that they might be able to guess at this with a fair degree of certainty, but how do they know I didn't somehow get a 6-pack that's been sitting at the back of the shelf for weeks? Sure, it's got a "born on" date printed on it, but that's not part of the UPC, so how are they getting it?

whether you purchased it warm or chilled,

Again, same thing: it's the same UPC; how would it know, other than in aggregate (i.e. the distributor writing down how many 6-packs are in the cooler when he gets there.) And even if it knows in aggregate, how does it know that the guy at the liquor store didn't move a bunch of warm Buds back into the cooler when the distributor's rep wasn't there?

and whether you could have gotten a better deal down the street.

Okay, this one's obvious, too.

Oh come on... (3, Insightful)

bob670 (645306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387863)

"Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands"

I think we may have taken the fight for privacy to a new and illogical low? No wonder people lump tech geeks in with the tin foil hat crowd.

Bud's gift to Michael (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387865)

Dear Slashdot editor,

We at Budweiser would like to apologize for any anxiety you may have felt from the recent CNN article. As a token of our esteem, please accept the enclosed Budweiser hat.

Sincerely,

BudMan

BM/css
encl:
Tinfoil Hat, mk II, RFID

I keep looking and looking... (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387874)

and I still can't see where it links the purchase data back to a specific consumer.

Much ado about nothing, but hey, at least it's not about SCO.

*sigh* (3, Insightful)

jrwillis (306262) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387877)

For the love of God people, I'm as much of a privacy advocate as the next man, but MAYBE it's time to take the tinfoil hat off. Why on earth would you care if Budweiser knows when and where bottle #564,356 is sold? It just sounds like good business to me. Besides, it's not like they're doing it for real beer like Guinness or anything. :-)

typical slashdot repsonses, or -1 flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387881)

if it's popular, then it must be evil
eg. microsoft, budweiser, etc.

mmmmmmm.... piss water (-1)

nitz7978 (712386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387882)

When sam adams starts tracking my beer sales like that, i'll be concerened. Right now let budwiser track the redneck trash who drinks that piss water.

The question is... WHY buy it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387885)

I've been to America. It's not so bad. The can produce good beer if they want to, though not as many different types as in the UK.

Budweiser... (-1)

mesmartyoudumb (471890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387887)

Bud is the Mcdonalds of beer...Bland,flavorless,cheap crap.

If youre an American,try: Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Ale,Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale, Fat Tire, or for southerners, Shiner Bock.

Microbrews are always better... Buying a Bud or Coors or Michelob is like buying a Compaq workstation. :D

Lots of people do this (1)

zymurgy_cat (627260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387889)

My father works as the sys admin for the accounting department of a company that owns a bunch of convenience stores. Every day, the computers at the stores dial in to their system and report on what was purchased, what the price was, what inventory is, etc., etc. The company does all the accounting paperwork for the stores and keeps track of what's selling where, if promotional activities are working, etc.

This is no real big deal, just a good example of IT making business work. Now if AB implemented one of those "loyalty" cards like grocery stores that give you price breaks in exchange for your privacy, then you might have something.

I'd also like to point out that AB doesn't sell beer. They sell advertising in the form of colored fizzy water.

Another war? (1)

Ignatius_VI (587517) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387896)

Budweiser is just another beer. Let's not start a beer war. That being said, there could be privacy issues here, but on the other hand....maybe they can adjust how much overstock goes to each store. Nobody wants old, skunked beer.

Come on!!! (1)

Stingr (701739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387900)

"Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."

I think that this is taking the privacy thing a bit too far. I mean Anheuser-Busch may know that a six pack was purchased but they don't know who purchased it. And I did RTFA and even though...

"They're drilling down to the level of the individual store," Thompson says. "They can pinpoint if customers are gay, Latino, 30-year-old, college-educated conservatives."

...they still don't know anything about you personally just the type of people that live in your area.

It's straight demographics, nothing more.

So much foil your neck is going to snap (5, Informative)

cyberlotnet (182742) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387902)

People.. Read the article fully. They track the BEER, not the person. Information like that is extremely important for the marketing of a product.

This information allows them to know there market, plan shipments and various other usefull things.

But instead you would prefer to assume they are tracking how many brain killing gulps of beer your drinking so they know when your drunk enough to use there super secret beer tracking brain scanner to download your life and the history of your poor sex life.

Pity for the poor US (1)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387904)

I have to take pity on the poor souls living in the US that don't even have an option of good beer to start with. Hmmm, will that be Bud, Coors or Red,White and Blue?

I'm Canadian, can you tell :)

Privacy? huh? (1)

lonb (716586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387905)

"It brings up some interesting privacy issues, because according to the article 'The last time you bought a six-pack of Bud Light at the Piggly Wiggly, Anheuser servers most likely recorded what you paid, when that beer was brewed, whether you purchased it warm or chilled, and whether you could have gotten a better deal down the street.' Frankly, I don't want Budweiser knowing when I choose to buy their beer versus another brands."

I don't see what this has to do with personal privacy. Bud does not track what YOU buy, they track what is bought. It seems to me there is no method of linking you to your purchasing habits in their system.

Further it is quote common and incredibly useful for large suppliers to track their goods all the way through to sale in order to keep shelves stocked (proactive sales algorithms) and to alter product lines appropriately.

Don't worry bud, Bud doesn't know what and when YOU buy their beer.

so what? (1)

bendawg (72695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387910)

So what if they choose to track their inventory? You buy their product, they can track it if it they want to. If you don't like it, then don't buy it. It makes them money, and that's why they do it.
This article mentions nothing of tracking purchases of other brands, it just says that they look at their product displays.
I don't want an Orwellian society, but this is just smart business.

Worst...Beer...Ever (1)

ddelrio (749862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387911)

If you drink Budweiser, you deserve what you get.

Privacy !!!? (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387913)

I don't see a privacy problem.
They are tracking product that they or their dealer distributes. Car companies do the exact same thing.

I think it would be very beneficial to both the producer, retailer, and consumer.
They might find that it is worthwhile to cool the product and command a higher price at certain stores, and sell it warmer yet cheaper at others.
There is likely seasonal and locational variation.
And if different brands sell in different ways it may allow them to better predict consumer demand.

Getting the product I want, in the condition I want now is a valuable service, and I'm glad that they're working on providing this to me. Again car companies do this to try and have the cars people want on the lot today.

Big Deal (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8387922)

So they know how much beer they are selling in specific locations and whether or not people prefer it cold or warm. No big deal. Most people on /. buy things from the internet, guess what those suppliers know a heck of a lot more about you and what you buy. Dell sells direct, so they know exactly who they sell what to... I could go on and on but you get the point.

Seriously.. (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 10 years ago | (#8387932)

All "Bud sucks" comments aside(it does suck..)

who cares? A-B isn't tagging your name onto the sixpacks, just recording what was bought and when, on a pretty fine grain level, then having sales reps come check out the demographics of the store. How is this an invasion of privacy again?

Wait, it's not.
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