Even though I moved a year ago, there is a Walgreen's right on my way home from work, quick to run in to pick up makeup remover towelettes, etc. Recently they started a rewards program, ala grocery stores .. use your card, get discounts. So of course I signed up. Today - I gave the card back. The clerk looked at me like I had 3 heads and when I asked if she knew of anyone who had done that she said no. Her look was quizzical when I briefly explained. She left the card on the counter after I had paid and wished her a good rest of the day.
We live in an age of information. My job is all about - information. Much of my free time is spent on the Internet and my smart phone. Over-sharing here on my blog is one thing. I get to pick what I share and what I do not and from now on I am going to choose more carefully what I share and with whom. Like *Google - I use Bing now because I find Google to be too intrusive. And because they got rid of iGoogle and Google Reader and made me mad, but that's a whole different issue. With the NSA scandal and Obama care looming and the IRS being involved well - I'm not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination. But - I'm simply starting to feel uncomfortable about how much of my information is going to be available to different agencies and I've just decided I am not going to frivolously give that information away simply to save a bit of money. It's not just Walgreen's - but Walgreen's does have access to information my grocery store does not. Here is what I wrote to the store this evening:
I turned in my rewards card today. I've always known that cards such as these track your purchases and that's fine. But when you start mixing prescription tracking and health and fitness tracking - that's too much of my private information being tracked. I have gone to Walgreen's for my prescription needs for well over 30 years. I have never felt like my personal information was at risk until I realized that the information Walgreen's has - can all be tied together under the guise of cost savings. I just don't think a pharmacy should be doing that. If you want to save me money - have normal sales.
So, look at me funny like the clerk did, think I'm slipping off some crazy slope if you want. I just think all of us should be more careful about the forms we fill out, and the information we supply to all kinds of places. Walgreen's is where I put my foot down.
*I am aware of the irony - this is a Google application, this blog. And if I find something better to replace it with - you betcha I will.