I decided to share this after seeing the thread on AT&T paying Cohen for information on Trump, but didn't want to hijack that thread. It is about how information is being extracted and being used. My recent experience literally left a sour taste in my mouth.
This is a True Story. Identities are not being disclosed to protect their privacy (and mine).
I have a card from my bank. Every time I go to Coffee and use it, within a couple of days I have an offer waiting for me online that says "if you accept this offer, and then go back to Coffee within X days you will get Y% cashback".
X is mostly reasonable. Y is quite substantial, at least 5%. Sometimes 10%. The bank is tracking where I'm spending my money. It is not as if bank is collecting information they otherwise wouldn't have. Of course they have to know the Merchant I'm spending money at or it couldn't process the transaction. Then, they are applying some AI over it and making an "offer" that can save me some money. Cannot find too much fault with that.
At this time it is important to note that I don't get offers on a regular basis in this fashion. The regularly scheduled offers I get are at those Merchants I do NOT patronize. The "come see us again" offers I get are for Merchants I DO patronize. The AI algorithms are obviously being run as soon as the transaction posts against my Account. If I do not visit a Merchant for several months I do NOT 't get a "it's been a while since you visited us" offer.
Now, just last week I went to get some Pizza. Haven't had for a few months because getting bit health conscious (and don't tell my better half, she was out of town and does not know). Of course, I didn't have any cashback offers since like I explained above it had been a while since I had Pizza. Like in above example I'm used to getting offer from my bank whenever I use my card to pay for the Pizza. Sure enough, I have an offer waiting for me now online. Just what I would have expected, except for one small problem. I did NOT use my card to pay for the Pizza. I paid Cash.
HTF did Bank know I had Pizza? I didn't use my CC. Then, how ??? One Single Malt down, my brain started working...
Pizza has AI.
Pizza "recognized" who I was from my "Frequent Pizza" card (buy 12 get 1 free) when I paid Cash.
Pizza ran AI on my transactions and saw I had not visited them a looonnnng time.
Pizza saw I use by Bank CC to pay for Pizza (it doesn't matter I didn't use it the last time I visited)
Pizza thought I might have found another Pizza because I hadn't visited for a long time.
Pizza wanted to incentivize me to visit them again.
Pizza shared the fact I bought Pizza with my Bank to trigger cashback offer to lure me back.
When did I sign rights to my privacy to Pizza as a condition of eating Pizza?