If you’ve followed the news over the past couple days, you will have read or heard about Home Depot getting caught selling customer data to the folks at Facebook without customer permission. Since 2018, they’ve been asking customers at checkout if we would like to receive an emailed receipt instead of a paper one. Those are the folks whose data has been sold.
From the start, I had assumed they were selling the information. That’s why, when asked, I generally say, my customer data is valuable and I don’t give it away for nothing. Usually I offer to sell them my email address for $200 cash. Of course the cashiers just look at me like I’m a crazy man. Several have promised me they don’t sell my data. Liar, liar, pants on fire! All this is to say that I’m not surprised, not even a little bit. I doubt it’s just Home Depot either, though they’re the company with the media target on their back right this minute. I bet loads of big corporations do this routinely.
These days, consumers have become product. What we buy, where we shop, how often we return and more – these days it all has value. I’m willing to play ball, but not for free. Maybe we should all produce personal rate cards to present to companies when asked for valuable information. I’m not inflexible. I would accept store credits in return for data.
Ever since Loblaws cooked up the Great Bread Price-fixing Scandal a few years ago and brought their competitors on board, I’ve simply assumed we’re being systematically scammed at every turn. I’d like to be proved wrong. Enough with the conspiracy theories, Eugene, companies don’t do that! Right? Now Home Depot has shown us that maybe there is truth to my sad assumption.
I think all the money Home Depot made surreptitiously selling customer information should be divvied up among the victims. What? How could they do that? Well, they do have the data. Shame on you Home Depot.