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Supermarket Loyalty Cards Vs National ID Cards

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the track-everything dept.

Privacy 480

john.wingfield writes "The BBC is running a story on a speech David Blunkett, the British Home Secretary, has given on ID cards and supermarket loyalty cards. He criticises the data protection arrangements for the loyalty cards whilst simultaneously (hypocritically?) promoting his own national ID card scheme, which is exempt from the Data Protection Act 1998. See also the UK Information Commissioner's (data protection and freedom of information watchdog) concerns about the ID card scheme."

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480 comments

Interesting (-1, Troll)

xdfgf (460453) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850828)

I have a Kroger Plus card. It has a magnetic stripe on the back that when you check out or get gas it adds points to your acct which then get traded for discounts, cash back, etc..

So one day a friend of mine who a few years ago paid off some debts selling Credit card info he got from customers in a restaraunt let me use his reader. Its a small black piece of plastic with a mag reader and basic electronics that dump the info to a Compact flash card. You had to manually enter the 3 digit SFF number on the back of the card with a keypad on the bottom. ANYWAY...

I used it to read my Kroger Card... I was shocked at the discovery..

It had name, address, phone, and gender.

That was it. Frankly I was confused that there was no Unique ID#, but whatever...

I have a screen capture of the video here: Capture [xdfgf.com]

I'd be okay with the idea of a National ID card for the US if it was proven that It was safe and helped catch the terrorists.

Not Interesting (DON'T CLICK) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850840)

Don't make the same mistake of clicking on the link that I did, unless you want to see a pig fucking a girl.

Re:Not Interesting (DON'T CLICK) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850905)

it was a guy, i think. woulda been better if it was a girl.

sadly, someone modded your warning as a troll. what have we come to? wait... it's slashdot... nevermind.

the real info is here [tinyurl.com] .

Re:Not Interesting (DON'T CLICK) (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851202)

Is the pig cute?

KFG

Re:Not Interesting (DON'T CLICK) (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851256)

Relative to the girl, yes.

But in an absolute sense? Not so much.

Re:Interesting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850859)

The National ID Card issue is way overblown. Almost everyone has driver's licenses. There should be some standard other than interstate communications that establishes identity through government issued IDs (to close up conterfeit holes). Put a smartchip on the driver's license, for example. But there should not be any requirement to carry the card unless you are doing something such as driving, buying beer, or passing through customs (each of which the gov't has a valid reason for wanting to know your identity).

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850861)

I'd be okay with the idea of a National ID card for the US if it was proven that It was safe and helped catch the terrorists.
Maybe we can just mine the supermarket cards for information. Anybody who has NOT purchased hot dogs or beer on July 3, for the past five years, goes on The List.

Re:Interesting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850863)

wow. what a sick fuck. must be a bush voter

Don't Click Link (Not a Troll!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850866)

This is a fair warning, parent is a troll.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850871)

That is one good troll. My hat to you sire.

MOD DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850872)

intersting? damn I feel like a dumb ass for following the link...

Re:Interesting (1)

jreiser (590600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850887)

For many retail purposes, a phone number is "good enough" as a UID.

Re:Interesting (1)

jokumuu (831894) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850890)

Indeed, the reason why I do not have any loyalty cards is clear: I do not want to be tracked in my purchasing habits.

Atleast in the case of this, I have a choise. In the Case of a National ID, not really...

MOD THIS (MASTERFUL) TROLL DOWN (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850891)

dont you mods actually read comments to a post before modding up??????

Re:MOD THIS (MASTERFUL) TROLL DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850896)

Silence you!

Re:MOD THIS (MASTERFUL) TROLL DOWN (2, Funny)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850906)

::chuckles::
I didnt click it, I sent to a friend of mine to see what it was when I didnt recognize the link, reaction was priceless.
::evil laugh::
--Anubis

Re:MOD THIS (MASTERFUL) TROLL DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850909)

you must be new here...

ugh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850842)

you sick fuck

Don't let the terrorists win (5, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850858)

The cards were not a panacea for everything but could help stop terrorists using multiple identities Because everyone KNOWS that terrorists can't fake ID cards! Hell, that's probably why GB is the terrorist haven that it is now, because they don't have a national ID card!

Geez, I thought that only America had to deal with this kind of insane rationalization. And no, I don't have and never will have a "loyalty" (i.e. "We want to track you") card.

Re:Don't let the terrorists win (2)

JimBean (610952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850895)

Well, I've heard of the UK being referred to as the 51st state of America.

Wait your turn! (2, Funny)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850947)

Australia's next.

Re:Wait your turn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851097)

Blame Canada!

Poetry time! (4, Funny)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850864)

There once was a man called Blunkett.
Loyalty Programs? He tried to debunk it.
But his views on privacy
Were pure hypocrisy,
So Britons everywhere said "Man, you flunk it!"

Re:Poetry time! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850944)

The poem was quite swell,
Yes, all was going well,
Except one thing,
You musn't be be king,
To see that the poem had far too many syllables for it's own good.

Re:Poetry time! (3, Funny)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850982)

Hey, buddy, YOU try making a poem out of a name like "Blunkett." It isn't as easy as it looks.

Re:Poetry time! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851068)

It's easy, just go post-modern.

Blunkett.
Spider eggs in the attic.
Lost souls cry out at night.
gonegonegonegonegonegone.
So alone.

Re:Poetry time! (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851094)

Easier than that:

Blunkett.
Blunkett?
Blunkett!
We are all dead.

Not a Limerick (4, Funny)

Omkar (618823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850986)

The rhythm is off, but the rhyme is true, so the reader is left hanging. M yattempt to fix:
The once was a man named Blunkett
Privacy? Tried to debunk it.
But his guv'ment's card
Hit privacy hard
Hypocrisy test? He flunked it!

That was godwaful. See why I'm going to major in math?

Re:Poetry time! (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851055)

There once was a man called Blunkett. Loyalty cards? He debunk'd it. But his views'n privacy? Pure hypocrasy! So Britons all said "Man, you flunk it!"

Wonderful Video (1, Offtopic)

wrathcretin (693632) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850869)

Thank you. I really needed to see a man get humped by a pig. Can a mod please get rid of that link after he gets slashdotted?

loyalty cards (0)

bladx (816461) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850870)

i don't like the whole idea of "loyalty" cards..

Re:loyalty cards (1)

berkut7 (761778) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851012)

Then don't use them, don't shop there. As simple as that.

Re:loyalty cards (1)

garroo (748175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851070)

I for one, welcome our new Loyalty Card Overlords.

All hail the cardreader! Double-good bonus points!

Please, someone tell me how to recover lost karma... brother can you spare some mod points?

I DONT LIKE THE IDEA OF CARDS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851071)


WHICH DOn"T SLAP YOU IN THE FACE WITH MY BALLS!!!

lololol!34

eat a shit man, ! you fail it!

would someoner every wonder why i'm not untyping
stuff on the screen in the little white box
words!

i have a PEE DEE AY and i have my contakts on it of people I KNOW and LOVE to share stuff.

(i also have the porn on it , but dont tell
everyone whats what i do at work when i go
to the toilets for 10 minutes during
lunch break..)

and also to read book i download from
#bookzarez they have the irsee botz and !triggers
todownload stuffs!! whoa man!

you are on slashdot. this has been a post. you
have clicked reply and typed YOU'RE A FUCKING
IDIOT!

well, you should, because I AM AN IDIOT GOD NON
MORTAL!

and I EET PANCAKES! AMND HAVE AN EYE-QUE OF GEORGE WASHINGTOM BUSH LEVELS!!! AND I Am AM
AMERICAN!!! HAIL TO THE CHEIF! OEN NATION UNDER GOD AND BOMBS AND SECURITY!

I LOVE AMERICANS~!!! AMERICAns are soo smart!
WE ARE AMERICANS AND YOU LOVE US, THANKY
OU WORLD~!!! WE LOVeyou too but only if you bye our macdonalds and pespis, and brintey speers\!

I LOVE AMERICANS OH YES I DO~!

slightly offtopic but ... (0, Offtopic)

haluness (219661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850875)

why is it that /. is so slow. Fark had the last two articles in the morning (or early afternoon)

Forget the stupid cards, give me service! (4, Interesting)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850889)

I avoid those grocery store cards. I will go out of my way to find the stores that don't use them. Luckily the little mom&pop store down the street doesn't use them, so that's where I usually go.

Guess what? While their small size means their selection is limited, the overall prices are about the same as the larger stores that use the nasty little cards.

Even if the prices were higher, I'd still go there. Everyone in the store knows the location of every item. Can't find something? Ask the next kid in an apron, and they'll take you right to it.

Re:Forget the stupid cards, give me service! (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850941)

I envy you. We have no small mom-n-pop grocery stores left where I live; just the typical chain stores (Lowe's Food, Harris Teeter, Food Lion), and of course the Great Wall Mart.

Yeah, some true choice would be nice. Maybe one of these days I'll find a nice, peaceful genuinely capitalistic society to emigrate to...

Re:Forget the stupid cards, give me service! (3, Interesting)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851000)

Based on the chains you listed, I'd guess that you live somewhere in or around North Carolina (I haven't seen those three chains intersect anywhere else yet, but correct me if I'm wrong). If so, I've still been able to find a few independent stores in NC, VA, and SC. It takes a little research but they're there. The selections not as huge, but they can usually cover your basics.

Re:Forget the stupid cards, give me service! (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851056)

Impressive.

Wilmington.

Re:Forget the stupid cards, give me service! (2, Funny)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851093)

Excellent. My plot to conquer the world by learning all chain store geographic boundaries is going well. Now if only I can pinpoint the exact location where Mr. Pibb becomes available as only a fountain drink...

Re:Forget the stupid cards, give me service! (1)

gfody (514448) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851235)

ooh do this one
Albertsons Ralphs and Vons

Re:Forget the stupid cards, give me service! (2, Interesting)

Chaset (552418) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851090)

I hate those stupid card things as much as (more than?) the next guy. Don't even get me started on how I feel about them.
If you're interested, there's always this [nocards.org] . The site has real information on what those stupid things really mean, and they have a database of stores that don't use it. (though it could really use some updating.)
In my area, the stores that don't insult me with this stupid scam have become extremely scarce, especially after Albertson's of So Cal finally gave in and started doing it. My choices are Trader Joe's (which only has food) or some of the uppity chains like Bristol Farms, though 30%-40% premium on groceries is hard to take, even for my principles.

When will the madness end?

False Data (2, Funny)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850980)

I usually fill them out with false data, Tell them that I moved, and the address on my license is out of date.

tho now they want to mail the things to you.

Re:False Data (3, Funny)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851065)

Isn't everyone...

Name: Test User
Home: 10 main st, Beverly hills 90210
Phone: (555) 555-1234
Email: Test@aol.com

Re:False Data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851137)

Safeway and Albertsons think I'm either Jake or Elwood Blues, address 1060 West Addison, Chicago.

Re:Forget the stupid cards, give me service! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851047)

everytime you pay with your credit or debit card your shopping can be traced. so what? the cashless society is possibly coming in the future, so they'll know your shopping habits then anyway.

if you murdered someone or committed some other terrible crime in the past and the police have your fingerprints on file but no match, i think you are in trouble.

when your fingerprints are put on the new id card chip what is stopping the police running a match on your prints with the ones on file of unsolved crimes?

can't wait for them. let's clean up this world.

Anonymous Safeway Shopping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851178)

I trust everyone has signed up for their anonymous Safeway shopping card [cockeyed.com] . Two years and running.

resistance is futile (3, Funny)

howhardcanitbetocrea (671190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850902)

If anyone thinks that just by not having a supermarket loyalty card they have more privacy, they are kidding themselves. If someone wants to know that on Friday I buy women's underwear and what size I prefer they are welcome to the information....as long as I get a free iPod

Refuseniks Unite! (4, Insightful)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850904)

I'll bet slashdot is about the only place where us Supermarket Refuseniks are in the majority. I won't use one (even one with fake info) and I won't buy a single item that requires the card to get the real price.

When the cashier asks if I have a $NAME_OF_STORE Card, I answer with a strong, cheerful "Nope!" and it's been years since anybody pressed the issue any further. I assume based on their reactions that they get a fair number of customers declining (and probably with varying levels of politeness), yet I don't ever notice another customer not handing over their keychain for verification of eligibility to pay only full retail.

It's an odd thing... all these millions (are they into the billions yet?) of dollars spent to administer these programs, and I've yet to hear a single believable* justification for it.

* 'because we want to save you money!' is NOT believable. If that was their goal, they'd lower the prices and be done with it.

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850972)

They track what people are likely to purchase, and in return give people who participate a slightly lower price than those who don't as an incentive to get people to use their system.

Could they charge that price for everyone without their cards? Yeah. Then they'd pay more for less effective advertising. So they'd raise their prices to make up for it.

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (0, Troll)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851008)

The stores in my area have a huge price differential between tracked and untracked. A 5-15% difference I could conceivably be convinced is a discount. But I simply cannot imagine that a 50%+ "discount" is anything other than a jacking up of the undiscounted price. I won't claim to speak for the stores you shop at, but around here it's quite obviously more a matter of punishing the untracked than rewarding the tracked.

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (1)

jokumuu (831894) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850990)

Well.. The real reason for those cards is twofold:

1) Get to know buying patterns of customers and then datamine that for links and marketing use.

2)Try to help to keep you to keep coming to their store. That is why you see these progressive programs where if you buy for more than $ XXX you get more benefits.

Re:Kroger failed on that count (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851134)


It's because of the cards that I haven't stepped foot in a Kroger store for a few years now.

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (1)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851010)

Amen! The best advice that I can add to this is to just buy the generic brands. Usually, the chains sell their generic brand at the same price (or lower!) than the weekly specials without requiring the evil card. About the only products this can't be applied to is the fresh produce and seafood; for those you should be able to find a non-chain store that can help out.

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (0, Troll)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851079)

Wow, looks like I pissed someone off; two comments on the subject modded down within five minutes of posting.

Here, ya missed one. [slashdot.org]

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (3, Interesting)

PedanticSpellingTrol (746300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851087)

The best part is, EVERY TIME I've ever gone to a Bi-Lo store and told them I didn't have a card, they'd just key in the override code (444400000000) and I get all the "discounts" anyway.

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851153)

They'll do that at the stores I shop at, too. But, funny thing, it doesn't change the total. If the item on the shelf requires a tracking card to get the real price, I either buy a different item, or go across the street to their competitor. It's rare that they both have what I want locked into their tracking program simultaneously. I've gotten in the habit of hitting both of the large stores nearby every time I do a full grocery run. That practice has actually turned out to be beneficial to me as a consumer, so thanks data miners!

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851216)

Depends on the cashier. Sometimes they'll be nice and do that for me, sometimes they'll give me the evil eye reserved for "outsiders".

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (1)

jIyajbe (662197) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851259)

I wouldn't feel too triumphant about this strategy. Think about it...Why would they do this for you? Hmmm....

Re:Refuseniks Unite! (4, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851234)

Look at it like this: They will *buy* your shopping habit data by giving you discounts off their products.

Honestly, I don't care. They can track whatever they want, link it up to my name or whatever. It's a deal *I* agreed to ( because, mainly, I can't think of how they can use that information in a bad way ),and I get something out of doing nothing, which is pretty sweet.

However. National ID cards are NOT something I'd agree to, because in order for something like that to be effective, you'd have to mandate their use. And that means we'd be forcing many people, myself include, into using something they didn't agree to.

It's a sad time we live in (2, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850908)

Now this may sound a little paranoid (I know I'll be modded down just for saying the phrase above), but "worst case scenario" for you. [Tinfoil Hat Mode ON] It's only a matter of a couple of years until RFID-embedded national ID cards are a mandatory item one has to carry both in the UK and the US. The number of readers (both public, private and secret) will multiply at a geometric rate, with databases tracking more and more of our movements. And now that Texas school-children are being tracked under the guise of protection from kidnapping, how long before the same excuse is used to implant tags into every infant born at a major hospital. With further advances I am sure tags and readers will soon be developed that will allow detection and reading of the tags at several feet or even several meters. [Tinfoil Hat Mode OFF] Ok, so most of what I wrote is nonsense. But for how long? I wrote the worst case scenario because I believe that while we still have rights, we, as citizens should be on the lookout for these developments, so that the crap above does not come true.

Re:It's a sad time we live in (1)

jokumuu (831894) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850939)

Well, given the recent things, like the article on the school tracking students.. I am afraid that your tinhat mode thing might be reality in too near future.

Re:It's a sad time we live in (1)

Infinity Salad (657619) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850962)

Even if RFID cards do come 'true,' watch for the 'lead lined wallet' to become popular in proportion.

Re:It's a sad time we live in (2, Funny)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851024)

Hopefully I can mod my duct-tape wallet [thinkgeek.com] to support that. Or maybe ThinkGeek will start offering RFID-blocking wallet/bag/clothing? Hint hint if you're reading this ThinkGeek admins!

Re:It's a sad time we live in (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851203)

Who modded the parent Flamebait? I posed a question for people to think about. In a calm, totally unbiased manner.

Loyalty cards are the biggest ID/privacy scam EVER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850915)

People are quite happy to buy, say, a cucumber, condoms and KY-Jelly and then pass their "Loyalty Card" through a barcode/magstripe scanner thus telling the store owners exactly who just bought those particular items. Such market profile information is worth an absolute bundle for the marketing guys who now know your name, address, and product purchasing profile! LOL!

Yet people worry about having to carry an ID card, or they fear RFID tags.

It makes you wonder.

buying batteries (1)

torrents (827493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850940)

i can see why many people are frustrated... being tracked in places like supermarkets for worthless points is as annoying as being asked for your phone number when buying batteries (to which i always reply "i havn't had a phone for years") what is nice is if your past purchases of high end equipment are kept on record and you are eligible for substantial discounts (15%+)

supermarket loyalty cards? yeah right (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850958)

as for the supermarket loyalty cards, they give the card, no one says you have to give them your address, they call me Mr Goatse at one store, one clerk figured it out and started laughing at my name. You can easily grab a handful of them, use one for every day of the week.

WTF (1)

Zanek (546281) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850970)

How can this guy promote national ID cards over supermarket cards. I'd rather have a supermarket
know I only buy Frosted Flakes on sale than a governement track EVERY facet of my life !
Governments and corps wont stop until they can wrench every last cent from customers by tracking their every move

Re:WTF (1)

andywebz (794668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851048)

Clearly Zanek [dancclark.com] has completely misplaced his tinfoil hat!!! The website he linked to has his social security number listed on it. I propose that he gets his 6 digit slashdot taken away, and awarded a new 7 digit id when we break the million nerd mark.

Re:WTF (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851207)

Cool, thanks for the info Andy!

Hmm, he seems to have an exemplary credit rating... I guess you really *can* get free iPods off the internets!

Thanks, Dan!

Blank loyalty card (4, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850976)

I recently got one at Kroger.
"Do you have a Kiroger card?"
'Nope'
"well...here's the card and the application" She swiped it, and gave me the blank app, to be filled out later.

The card works, and I just shredded the application.

So..just take the blank application, and say "I'll fill it out later".

Re:Blank loyalty card (1)

andywebz (794668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851028)

And I know there is NO WAY they could link that loyalty card up with you the first time you swipe Mr. Credit Card. Surely their technology hasn't evolved that far.....

Re:Blank loyalty card (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851077)

That's why this card is used *only* with cash.

Re:Blank loyalty card (1)

andywebz (794668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851092)

Except when you only have $.03 and REALLY need some starburst half off.

Re:Blank loyalty card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851103)

Pay with money you actually have and this won't be a problem.

Re:Blank loyalty card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851116)

What about Check Cards? They still represent money you actually have, but your information can be gleamed. Apparently all those Visa Check Card commercials haven't been paying off.

Re:Blank loyalty card (1)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851236)

At my local Kroger they just have cards they swipe for everyone without one of his own. I'm not sure on their logic, but everyone does it so it must be some kind of store policy. Maybe those Kroger cards carry rewards like cash back which you can't get unless you have your own.

Still, it does seem silly to put out this special card that gets you lower prices, and then not require anyone to actually have it.

You can swap grocery cards with no harm to anyone. (3, Insightful)

YouHaveSnail (202852) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850977)

I've been known from time to time to swap grocery store cards with friends, or else to give phony name and address information when obtaining one. The result is that I get discounts without totally giving up privacy, and the supermarket gets reliable data about a real person's short term shopping habits. The one thing the store loses is the ability to correctly map the shopping habits to a particular person. (You must pay with cash, of course, to make that work.)

I very much doubt that any country that institutes a national ID card system would let citizens swap cards.

See, the difference here (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850978)

Get to checkout, fumble briefly in your pockets, claim you have left your supermarket card at home by accident. Oh, that's fine, they'll say, and usually they'll just punch in a number and give you a discount anyway. Worst case scenario you still get to buy your groceries, you just have to pay a half a pound more. The horror.

Claim you lost your national ID card. Oh, sorry, you can't get on the plane.

Go and sign up for a supermarket card, or two or three, with false identity information. Claim you don't have a driver's license, or offer some flimsy piece of cardboard you printed up at home. There will be no negative repercussions for you in any way, at absolute worst one of these cards will get negated.

Go and sign up for a national ID card, or two or three, with false identity information. You have just committed a crime with a multi-year jail penalty.

Can you see why I might be more comfortable with the supermarket card than the government ID card?

Re: Half a pound more? (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851144)


The difference between using the card and not using the card can be anywhere from 25% - 40% depending on what's on sale, and how badly I need it.

Re: Half a pound more? (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851258)

Income Tax, now 25% off with the Loyalty Card!

the difference is loyalty cards are optional (5, Insightful)

yorkpaddy (830859) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850984)

As opposed to national ID cards, loyalty card are optional. Sure you could say national ID cards are optional (you can move out of the country) but it is different. There is a much higher transaction cost in changing countries compared to changing supermarkets.

Re:the difference is loyalty cards are optional (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851121)

Not to mention if you live in a capitalist society, you have the right to choose where you purchase your goods and services. National ID cards don't allow you to join the local Nazi party as a form of protest.

what exactly is the problem witb ID cards? (4, Insightful)

theonlyholle (720311) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850988)

Maybe coming from a country where ID cards (and having them with you) have been mandatory since I've been born has made me blid, but what exactly are people's concerns about them? As far as I remember, my privacy has never been threatened by them - I show it to the police to prove who I am, sometimes also to the post office when I collect a parcel. So they believe I'm actually the person who is registered as the owner of the car I'm driving or the recipient of the parcel I'm trying to collect - thank you, I'd expect them to check that. Having lived in the UK for a few years, I couldn't help but get the impression that the point in this discussion is that "I have the right to hide who I am from anyone" - I just don't see that as a legitimate concern. The government and its agencies are not a privately owned supermarket who doesn't need to know who I am to accept me as a customer...

Re:what exactly is the problem witb ID cards? (1)

Bulldozer2003 (824009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851058)

Where did you live?

Re:what exactly is the problem witb ID cards? (1)

VocabularyNazi (816686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851150)

but the thing is, is that here in the States, we've already got ID cards. It's called a State ID or a Driver's License. why should there be a need for a National ID card?

Re:what exactly is the problem witb ID cards? (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851158)

Yeah, because governments never fuck up.

Re:what exactly is the problem witb ID cards? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851161)

The next time some despot comes into power he can
use the associated database to help round up his
"enemies". The next thing you know they are all in a mass grave someplace.

Re:what exactly is the problem witb ID cards? (2, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851187)

I don't get it either. I have said the same thing before in another discussion about national ID cards, but got no satisfactory reply. Best case you are told that the government will abuse it to track your every movement (imagine the amount of data to analyse), or you get some wackos/funnies that cite that "mark of the beast" thing.

I have had an ID card for about my whole life and I practically never had to show it. If I recall correctly they made a photocopy when I opened a bank account, but that would be over 15 years ago ;-)

As for supermarket cards: I have two, both registred on my real name. One of them is nice and does make savings on the occasion. The other one (Auchan) is a bitch. I buy stuff there on a regular basis and I have never ever gotten discounts. Apparently the only way to get points on that card was to buy their store-branded stuff. Doesn't help me when I only usually buy DVD's or PS2 games there.

It'll go nicely with the cameras (2, Informative)

Magickcat (768797) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851009)

Perhaps the Government ID cards will match nicely with the government's 2.5 million video survelliance cameras [bbc.co.uk] .

Of course, if these sorts of measures really worked, there wouldn't be a lunatic sucessfully breaking into Buckingham palace every six months or so.

Yeah, I hate those national ID card proposals! (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851018)

how can he be such a hypocrite?! National ID cards will track all your purchases and sell your information to third parties without your consent!

Use a phone number (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851046)

Most supermarket cards don't require a card -- only that you enter in a phone number.

Is there a common phone number we can all use? For example, (212) 212-2121

Let's make one up.

Re:Use a phone number (1)

Tobril (202224) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851073)

867-5309 perhaps?

Re:Use a phone number (2, Interesting)

robdeadtech (232013) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851165)

The number is checked against their database. At least for Safeway stores... But if you have a friend with a supermarket card just use their phone number (it's probably already in your mobile phone. uhhh.. ask your friend of course before running it.)

Only safe in the right hands (2, Funny)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851081)

Your grocery discount card is only safe in the right hands [penny-arcade.com] ! Just imagine what they'd do if they found your National ID card.

Supermarket cards... (5, Interesting)

ktakki (64573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851095)

I reluctantly applied for one a few years ago, since the discounts meant I'd save over $100/year. In reality, I was off by a factor of two, saving close to $200/yr. off of the store's artificially inflated prices.

There are actually two types of discount cards: the first requires a real name and address and proof of identity. This one affords the user check cashing privileges. Since I do my banking business at an actual bank, I opted for the second, which doesn't require a real identity. Being a properly paranoid Slashbot who doesn't want The Powers That Be to track my aluminum foil purchasing habits (for the hats, you see), I gave my name as John Doe, 1234 Main St., Anytown, USA.

I'd been using the card for over five years before I realized that the cashier sees your name come up on her terminal when you use the card. About a month ago, the cashier asked me if my name was really "John Doe".

"Yeah, and it's a real bitch when I check into a hotel," I replied.

About a year after I got the card, the supermarket (Stop and Shop in Massachusetts) launched a web site that integrated your purchasing data. You'd log in by entering the serial number on the card and get a history of your purchases and discounts, along with "healthy" alternatives (which was pretty brain dead, offering mayonnaise as a "healthy" alternative to mustard).

The beauty part was that after you logged in you were presented with the option of password protecting your data. However, that meant that anyone who hadn't logged in had their purchase data unprotected (albeit with no identity attached). I tested this by entering numbers at random and viewing the purchase histories of random strangers ("Grape soda and rice cakes? What were you thinking?" "Oooh! KY Warming Jelly! Party on, dude!"). I was tempted to enter passwords for some of these but I didn't.

The store pulled the web site after a couple of weeks, citing "security concerns".

Gotta go. I have a craving for grape soda and rice cakes.

k.

Ha ha, silly Brits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851166)

Glad I live in a country that has laws that.. um.. make sense and.. awww, crap.

Membership has its privileges (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851171)

The cards were not a panacea for everything but could help stop terrorists using multiple identities, clamp down on illegal working and ensure people from overseas did not get free NHS treatment without being entitled to it

...and bonus airmiles if you show your card when paying your income taxes.

The difference between a supermarket loyalty...... (3, Informative)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851244)

The difference between a supermarket loyalty card and a National ID card is this.

You can lie about the info on the supermarket loyalty card, by putting a fake phone number, address, whatever, no big deal, and I don't think the supermarket will mind. I think the main purpose of those membership cards is so they know how much stuff someone buys, when, etc., etc., giving them the demographic info so they can better stock stuff and whatnot.

Right now we have State ID Cards (whether simply identification or drivers' licenses). Even if we did go to National ID Cards, they may not be any different. Let me say this. Under NO circumstances implant those RFID microchips. Cause there's too much fear over the issue of GPS tracking and such. By the way, I think we should just leave it up to the state level. Let us have an United States of American with each state creating their own laws and such, under our federal documents that have worked for us for so long.
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