Data Warehousing at the Pub - What's Your Personal Data Worth?


I saw this pretty interesting/ scary tool on the local news channel - the SWIPE calculator - which led me down a rabbit hole.

It's by a company called SWIPE which is a pretty obscure little outfit from best I can tell. They are using a bar for data warehousing, but are actually the "good guys" by enlightening people to this questionable practice of data collection.

What it Really Does:

As a "side effect" to swiping, we get a robust, customer database virtually free of charge and without ever having to ask! We can then add more to the driver's license information like the date and time of the customer's purchase and the item(s) purchased. And later we can add even more bits through a technique called computer matching.

Also, this database is not a generic, marketing database but it's one we really care about; it describes the very people who have come to our business (maybe even multiple times) and made purchases. Now we have a list of their names and addresses and an idea of what they like to buy and when.

The headache of age identification suddenly becomes a goldmine of opportunities!

So is it evil to be collecting the data, or okay because they're enlightening us?

Have a drink, and you WILL be assimilated.

Check out the SWIPE Calculator


second round

just burbling to attract more readers to this very important post

WOW! An unpublished phone

WOW! An unpublished phone number is $17.50. But a social secruity number is only worth $8.00?

Isn't the SSN the key to everything else? I'd think it'd be more valuable.

Nice find Stunty!

"Swipe Bar is an American concept. We are taking advantage of the latest data collection technologies available to us and applying sophisticated analytical tools to build our revenue and guarantee your security. Below we describe some current trends that helped shape our Bar."

I do not totally understand the purpose of seems like they are bragging about the data collection loopholes and hoping that in the future they can sell the information to 3rd parties, although they are not doing so at this time.

The whole thing reminds me more of a social experiment/art piece than a business.

I was also suprised that the SS number was worth less than a cell phone number.

no class action

Have a another drink, and by the way, what was your mother's maiden name?

The DL swipe stuff has been debated for years, but the accessibility of the commerce side of it is new.

no strict oversight, oh that's handy

Here at Swipe, several third parties have approached us about the availability of our data. At this time it is not legal to share or sell the data we derive from drivers' licenses, although there is no strict oversight as far as we can tell. You see, data protection laws are pretty weak in the United States and powerful commercial and federal organizations are constantly undermining what remains. We will always stick to the law, although we won't be surprised if someday this data becomes totally free!

There currently is one exception to this "no sharing" rule and that's law enforcement. U.S. law enforcement officers can access our database and they can do so without judicial review or constitutional safeguards.

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