Saturday, April 12, 2008

Big Brother

I've been trying to write up an abstract for a conference paper on the need for (in)visibility of the business owner and the customer.

So what do I see in the Saturday 'papers' (online)? "Tesco to monitor millions of consumers around the world".

It's all about how the Club Card tracks your buying habits. Bascially this one supermarket chain has more information on you than the Inland Revenue.

I remember the day the Club Card started. I loved it. You had to spend more than £5 to gain a few points. Single and on a very low salary then I had often to compute mentally whether my shopping basket amounted to that minimum £5 limit. I also didn't have a car or freezer so could not benefit from bulk buying.

Then I got married and had a child, and what became quite disturbing was that they kept sending us coupons for the items we often do need to buy, and with the tempting offers off other items we don't wish to buy.

Clearly our shopping habits were being 'monitored', not that someone actually sits and watches us, but the Club Card activities could be tracked by powerful IT systems and I felt the unease.

Some years back we decided to switch supermarkets and left TESCO for good.

I gave all my coupons to a friend, a refugee single mother, who spent them all on nappies.

I feel a chill down my spine even as I consider having to step into that store again.

Back to Organic-Ally.

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