|Our Target has more of those stone balls outside.|
Recently, during a Linkedin conversation, the topic of Target came up. I commented that I don't shop there any longer following an incident that happened there about two years ago. Now, I notice that employees and executives at Target are reading my profile on Linkedin. Sometimes,on the internet, it's still surprising that some comments simply float into cyberspace, and that others are heard and receive reactions of some kind.
The Linkedin format only allows me a limited number of letters and spaces, so in all fairness to Target, and to myself, this is what happened in clearer and more detailed form.
Two years ago, I took my teen son J. to Target. He had asked to go to look for a particular video. They didn't have it, but he found instead a DVD he would like to have bought instead. I looked around, but didn't buy anything else that day. When we went to the checkout and the DVD was scanned, the red clad young woman asked to see my driver's license. I asked her why, and she told me that it was policy that to buy certain DVDs, they needed to make sure that I was over 17. I laughed, because although I could pass for my early forties, there is no way that anyone would think I am any younger, and I don't care who is doing the make-up ! So, I opened my wallet. She said, "I need you to take it (the license) out". So, I struggled for a moment removing the license from the windowed compartment in my then new, and stiff wallet. Then she quickly scanned it ! BEEP "What did you do ?", I asked. "I entered it in the system" she said. "This is what we are required to do. It's policy ", she said knowingly. "Cancel the transaction" I said. "I can't" she said. "Get your supervisor", I said. I told the supervisor that due to security clearances for my husband's job, we make an effort to have tangible data, such as driver's license etc. kept off databases as a safeguard against identity theft. Identity theft by the wrong person could endanger his job or at least some of his projects. I also told her that I gave permission for their cashier to glance at my license to ascertain that I am not younger than 17 (which is ridiculous anyway) I had absolutely not granted permission for my private data to be instantly entered into a Target database. I told them I considered this an avenue for potential identity theft, and that they had stolen my private data without permission. The manager came, and aided them in the cancellation of the transaction, and of the dumping of the associated data from their system. We were lucky that morning that there were few people checking out and no one behind me. My son was embarrassed that a simple purchase of a DVD had become "a big deal". Needless to say, we had cancelled the purchase and he did not get the DVD. I told him that we would purchase it later that day, on half.com and we did. The Target staff did not apologize and they acted as if I had been difficult.
Of course, most of you know now that thieves hacked Target's database during the holiday season. Target admits that encrypted pin data was stolen from them for 40 million debit and credit cards which were entered into their system at that time. Target admits that you should watch your statements for unusual activity in your accounts if you shopped with them between November 27, 2013 and December 15, 2013. The breach has since been contained.
A word to the wise, change your password. In addition, consider changing your debit or credit card pin regularly anyway, particularly if you make internet purchases.
Think before you blindly hard your data to any corporation. Employees come and go. Who knows what access they have to credit card, driver's license or any other data. Who knows how they might use it ?
Even the grocery store discount cards show my address as a post office box I use for business, fifty miles from my home.
This is objective data regarding the Target Stores Data breaches:
In Linkedin, I indicated that since the incident at Target, we had never shopped there again. My exact words were that it wasn't the Jetsonian decor or the drab olives and browns in the housewares and clothing departments that prevents us from shopping there. We used to shop quite a bit at Target. It was the clear disregard for our personal information that left a bad taste in my mouth. I wasn't being difficult that day. By "policy", they snatched personal data on me without my permission simply because we planned to buy a tasteless teen DVD. Aren't you glad Target doesn't sell ammunition ?