Thursday, December 15, 2005

'Tis the season for returns

Chris Hoofnagle at EPIC West is today discussing the use of drivers' license swiping and returns tracking database Verify-1. The database tracks your returns and categorizes customers based on whether they "abuse" returns. He raises an interesting point about the database and how it may fit in American consumer reporting laws:

EPIC West: Electronic Privacy Information Center West Coast Office: Return Exchange Database Tracking:

... The Return Exchange database skates right on the edge of the Fair Credit Reporting Act's definition for a consumer reporting database. If Return Exchange is sharing data on consumers across retailers (not just across chains within a certain retailer), the data it issues will be a 'consumer report,' and all sorts of rights will kick in to protect shoppers. Until then, a big black box system will have your driver's license data and make decisions about you with no transparency. ...

The same conclusion may apply with respect to similar provincial laws in Canada.

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