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Web Coupons Know Lots About You, and They Tell

submitted on April 17, 2010 by WhattaDealBlog in "Buxr Website / Contests"

For decades, shoppers have taken advantage of coupons. Now, the coupons are taking advantage of the shoppers.

A new breed of coupon, printed from the Internet or sent to mobile phones, is packed with information about the customer who uses it. While the coupons look standard, their bar codes can be loaded with a startling amount of data, including identification about the customer, Internet address, Facebook page information and even the search terms the customer used to find the coupon in the first place.


Coupons from the Internet are the fastest-growing part of the coupon world — their redemption increased 263 percent to about 50 million coupons in 2009, according to the coupon-processing company Inmar.


The coupons can, in some cases, be tracked not just to an anonymous shopper but to an identifiable person: a retailer could know that Amy Smith printed a 15 percent-off coupon after searching for appliance discounts at on Friday at 1:30 p.m. and redeemed it later that afternoon at the store.

Were you all aware of this practice?

Do you feel the discounts you are getting are worth passing around your personal information, search habits and shopping habits?

  • 59490
    Posted by outcastplo313 on April 17, 2010
    [reply] 8 0
    Who knew coupons could be so dangerous? I was never aware of anything like this, thanks for the info WhattaDealBlog.
  • 59492
    5 1 1
    Posted by tammy987 on April 17, 2010
    [reply] 9 0
    Ooh, that's scary. Big Brother's watching. Eeek
  • 59537
    2 4 6
    10 8 2
    Posted by pablos17 on April 18, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    I hear that the IRS and State revenue departments will soon issue an autonomous, self-sustaining droid (fueled by greed, hate, and to make it "green" it's also powered by CO­² and solar) to follow us everywhere to make sure we don't take part in any illegal activity and to track our spending. The up-front expense will be high, but they expect a ton of tax dollars to finally be disclosed and received as a result of this project -particularly named IWYA (pronouced "ewww ya"). And the acronym stands for I'm Watching Your A**. Eeek Eeek Eeek

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