Why Even Your Local Grocery Store Wants Your Digital Data

I honestly feel defeated right now, it feels like currently it’s impossible to truly stay private online unless one is willing to move to a cabin in the woods with no internet and you stop using tech all together and truly become a ghost and stay offline. Can someone help me feel like everything I am currently doing is actually making a difference? Because right now it doesn’t feel like it.


My take is that they don’t track you for fun. They track you to sell you shit. Most people buy what they see in ads and believe fake promotions so this is a good business model.

Best way to stay out is not to hide absolutely everything. It’s to block ads and don’t buy so much stuff. Obviously don’t give out data you don’t have to, block trackers, use privacy tools. But don’t feel bad if some data gets out. You will never block everything and a lot of it is not that important if you’re not playing the game.


Just use cash or prepaid. Simple.


consumers feel companies hold discounts hostage behind data tracking

Unfortunately it’s even worse than that. They hold MSRP hostage. They’re not offering any discounts for tracking you. They’ve marked everything up, and are only willing to give you the regular price if they can track you and reap that extra data money. Otherwise they’re going to charge you extra for getting in the way of their second revenue stream. Apparently running an honest business isn’t enough for corporations now. Squeeze blood from a turnip, or GTFO.


We are absolutely sleepwalking into the worst possible tech futures. It’s so ubiquitous now that even if you’re able to explain to someone how bad things are, trying to avoid this type of data collection would almost take Edward Snowden - level planning and obsession, so people just kind of give up before they even start.

The truth is that even the small actions you can take help make your data a little less valuable. They’re collecting so much data from so many people, that they really don’t have any easy way of verifying the data in your profile. So while there’s essentially no way to go back to when you had NO data, the accuracy and relevance of the data can be soured so that their use-cases for it are less successful. Assuming you’re already using an adblock or VPN to do most of your browsing, the biggest things are phone app data collection and purchases through a credit card via online portals as well as in-person. If you can avoid those, most of what they use the data for is a lot less successful. I would also avoid social media apps or sites where login is required, as they can scrape data on how long you look at any given image or ad with a pretty high degree of accuracy.

If you’re dead-set on perfection, you’re bound to feel helpless. But you should feel good about the little steps you take that 80-90% of people aren’t, because you’re that much harder to target via your data footprint.


Anyone got a line on a good cabin? Tell the realtor not to call or text me though. I’ll only be responding via telegram (not THAT Telegram, dummy) delivered by horse and rider.


It might be better to use a carrier pigeon so the rider doesn’t know where you live.


Oh, good thought!

@yamanii@lemmy.world avatar

Reminds me how a popular pharmacy here won’t give you the real market price of medicine until you give them your national ID number, if you don’t they are horrendously jacked up.


Here we just skip straight to the horrendously jacked up prices.


Just disable wifi and bt if you get out of the house.

@Kekzkrieger@feddit.de avatar

and pay in cash always everywhere.

If they accept no cash no business for me.


I’ve resisted making an account at Walgreens for years and years. The last time I went in there, the prices for things I wanted were literally double if I didn’t give them a rewards number. Fucking ridiculous.

@Kekzkrieger@feddit.de avatar

yeah man then u know what this data is worth to them.

Its a shit choice between paying with your money vs paying with your data.


Don’t forget the face mutilation


Smart advice. Also use Monero online or off where you can.

@JoeKrogan@lemmy.world avatar

Just give fake data for everything you are not legally required to give your real info for.


RIP alcohol purchases or returns tho… many stores have begun enforcing policies that scan your id or refuse to service you. And if you think you can live without alcohol, just wait until they make you scan it as a condition to enter the store (like Amazon Go.)

The only saving grace is the barcode on an id is easily spoofed and can be generated by a 9 year old with access to Github.

@JoeKrogan@lemmy.world avatar

I guess it depends on your age and how old you look but even when I did have to show Id it was just that, show it to the cashier. I wouldn’t let any random person scan it.

That being said I could totally go without alcohol if needs be.


It’s interesting to me to see articles about this now, when the first rewards card I saw (every bit of 20 years ago) it was obvious why they would give you such steep discounts for using nothing more than a free card.

@mkulima@baraza.africa avatar

And even if you ‘exit’ to the woods, you’ll be easy to note, just by your absence (When the majority of the population are present, it is easier to note who is absent).

But we have to keep pushing back about these absurdities.


Precisely. Avoiding the pitfalls of modern tech and actively pursuing privacy strangely and conversely makes you stand out more, not less.


I totally agree we need to push back, especially when this information can be used for more than just selling you toothpaste.


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