Report: #619027

Complaint Review: The Target Corporation

  • Submitted: Wed, June 30, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, July 15, 2010
  • Reported By: Robert11xyz — Burbank California United States of America
  • The Target Corporation
    1000 Nicollet Mall
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    United States of America

The Target Corporation Collection and misuse of personal information Minneapolis, Minnesota

*Consumer Comment: Better get used to it.

*Consumer Comment: Curious..

*UPDATE Employee: ID policy

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

On Sunday, June 13th, at approximately 9:30 AM, I chose varied items to purchase at the Woodland Hills, California, Target store.

One of these items was a bottle of wine. When I arrived at the check out desk I was asked for identification to show my age. I am 73 years old and, though I consider myself in good condition, I can never be confused with someone who can not legally purchase wine.

I presented my California drivers license to the cashier. Without asking my permission, warning me or giving me notice of any kind the cashier swiped the license data strip into Targets computer memory data bank. By doing so Target was able to gather the following personal information:

1. Name  2. Home address  3. Birthday  4. Drivers license number  5. Social Security number  6. Physical description.

I immediately objected and called for the manager. An individual purporting to be the on duty manager arrived and stated that it was Targets policy to swipe the license of any purchaser of alcoholic beverages and retain that data. This was confirmed by the cashier who stated that it was in Targets training materials. The manager further stated that simply looking at the birth date on the license would not be sufficient if I wished to purchase wine as Targets policy required the full data on the license be swiped into the Target data bank.

I enquired that were I to use a credit card for the purchase would the drivers license information be stored with the credit card information. The manager told me that yes that was Targets policy.

It was quite obvious that the totality of the managers replies were limited to stating her understanding of Targets written policy. I declined to purchase the wine and asked that the information already collected be deleted. The manager stated that it would be if I didnt buy the wine. Regrettably I do not believe her.

It is apparent that Target Corporation has instituted a written policy meant to obtain personal and private information about its customers who purchase alcoholic beverages, to use said information for Targets business purposes and to sell and profit from said information all to the harm, risk and detriment of Targets customers who are given no notice of said purpose and intent by Target Corporation.

Neither are Targets customers offered an opportunity to decline the obtaining and use by Target of said information at the point of purchase of alcoholic products.

As I am a retired attorney I wrote to the President of Target reminding him of the many corporations who have been hacked into by computer thieves and that customer lists are the primary goal of said hackers. I pointed out that Target obviously did not care about the personal identity loss of it's customers and that Target puts its profits before the risk of identity theft to its customer base.

A week later I heard from one Terry "Last Name Refused" at Target's HQ.  Terry was a Customer Service Representative.  When I asked for her last name she refused for "security" reasons.  Note that though Target gets my full name and extensive personal data, it's employees refuse to supply their last name.

Terry proceeded to read from a response script and stated that the only thing Target records is the "date of birth" and no further information.  I asked that if I were to request a print out of the memory data from their reading of my license data strip I would get just a listing of dates of birth.  She replied "Yes."  I may be 73, but I'm not senile!  That is just plain ludicrous.

I asked her if my just presenting the license as I am obviously over 21 would suffice.  She again started reading from her script and said that Target would not sell wine to anyone who refused the swiping of the license into their memory bank.  When I asked why.  She had no answer other then repeating the preformatted script.

It is my opinion that Target records all of the information on my license data strip with the intent to use same and profit thereby.


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#1 Consumer Comment

Better get used to it.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

    Merchants record license data on every alcohol sale to protect themselves.   Some states require all purchasers of alcohol to show ID (even those that are 73).  The only way for a retailer to positively prove this is by recording the license info info on every purchase.   If you're mad, talk to your nannies (i.e. legislators).  Pretty soon you won't be able to buy a shoe without showing ID (could be used for a shoe bomb).

   By the way, what is your SSN doing on your drivers license?  If it's really on there, you should have it removed ASAP.

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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

It is my opinion that Target records all of the information on my license data strip with the intent to use same and profit thereby.

Other than your "opinion" do you have any proof that they record all of your licence information? 

How do you think that Target will use the information from your Drivers Licence to profit?

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#3 UPDATE Employee

ID policy

AUTHOR: Becky - (U.S.A.)

While I can't speak for the entire company, or what HQ can see, I can speak for what we can see at a store level when you scan your driver's license. I work in assets protection, and have access to the electronic journal, which is basically every receipt created in the last 90 days. When a cashier scans an ID, and I pull up that transaction on the computer, I see nothing but the birth date. No name, SSN (here they aren't even on the licenses), or physical descriptions. Like I said, I can't speak to what HQ has access to, but from my many phone calls to them, it doesn't seem to be much more than what I can see.

And while just looking at your birth date should be good enough, there are two things to consider. The first is that many cashiers (myself included, when I did cashier) won't accept an ID if they can not physically touch it. When I cashiered, if you didn't want me to scan it, that was fine, but you had to let me physically touch it so I could get a closer look and could feel if it was real or not. Second, Target recently changed their policy so any ID that is not scanned, but rather has the birth date typed in, required supervisor approval. Depending on how busy it is, or whether there is someone nearby to give approval (they have to type in their password), it could take awhile. Some supervisors are more strict about that as well, and will ask that you show your ID to them as well. And no, you're information was not deleted (at least what I can see of it). By them starting your purchase, it creates a transaction, whether it was completed or not. That transaction will stay there until the 'receipt' expires at 90 days.

My final point is if you don't want your ID scanned, just be nice about it. Many cashiers won't think twice about it if you ask nicely, because they are more willing to bend policy. If you storm up there, refuse to let them verify the ID is valid/real, and demand they type in whatever date you tell them, most won't even consider helping you and just call for a manager immediately. (I am not saying that is what you did/do at all, I'm just trying to make a point).

Oh and you will get carded every single time. The registers lock up until a birth date is entered in the computer (same thing for 'M' rated video games, cough syrup, and nicotine patches/gum). We used to be able to type in any valid date and bypass it when we could tell the person was old enough, but I'm assuming that got abused and they quickly put a supervisor lock on it anytime a date is typed and not scanned.

*Note: I am not speaking for Target or anyone other than myself*
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