Can I have your first-born’s middle name please?

Why do bricks and mortar retailers ask for your phone number when you hit the checkout line. Uh, let me guess. Of course they are storing it for future data mining. Before long, you will be seeing a little notice at the bottom of your reciept that says a bit more than “”By signing this receipt, you hereby agree to pay this bill.”

Watch out, as the future may produce “And you hereby agree to waive any rights you have under do-not-call-list legislation, and agree than we may call you and harrass you for whatever reason we like.” Soon thereafter, retailers will be asking for your email address, the last four digits of your social security number, and your kid’s middle name, all for the purpose of “verification.” What is really happening is traditional retailers know the online world is already getting this type of data, and using it wisely. It is a matter of competitive advantage.

By the way, my email address is j0ker@retail.info.edu, and my phone number is 212-555-1212. Thanks for shopping with me.

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