Local shoppers on edge after Target scanning license info into computers

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by Mike Colombo/ News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 6:05 AM

(KMOV.vom) -- Some St. Louis shoppers are angry. They say one of the largest retailers in our area is invading their privacy as customers.

Katie Thompson, of St. Peters and Nancy Hitzeman, of Wildwood two women went to two different target stores for two different reasons. At checkout, both women were asked for their driver’s licenses.

“And I showed it to her and,” said Thompson, “She asked that I take it out of its plastic sleeve. When I handed it to her she flipped it over and scanned it.”

“I said, I’m really not ok with you doing that, she said well, I already did it” Thompson said.

“There was no permission asked if this was alright,” said Hitzeman, “And I really found it very intrusive.”

The women are talking about the bar code on the back of your license. They’re worried by scanning it, Target is getting way too much personal information. And they just don’t understand why it’s happening!

After getting no answers, they called News 4’s Mike Colombo.

We also wondered why so we contacted Target’s corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. They would not do an interview but did send us a statement.

Target said they scan licenses for purchases of alcohol, video games, regulated cold-medicine and other regulated or restricted items. Licenses are also scanned for returns made without a receipt.

Target said they have physical, electronic and procedural security measures in place to keep that information safe. Officials said none of it is used for marketing purposes.

We shared the statement with Nancy and Katie. They were not impressed.

“A process used to protect the privacy and identity of our guests?” said Hitzeman, “I don’t buy that for a second.”

“That’s an overuse of information,” added Thompson.

The women were especially concerned considering the recent credit card security breach at Schnucks and the scanning controversy involving the Missouri Department of Revenue.

“It’s not appropriate and it’s not a good return policy,” said Thompson, “I will not continue to shop there if that’s their return policy.”

“I’m not at the point of not shopping there yet, but I’m very close” added Hitzeman.

We checked with K-Mart, Walmart, JC Penny and Macy’s. None of them scan driver’s licenses for any reason.

Another important note: the state tells us, that bar-code on the back of your license it only has the information that’s on the front of your license, along with your county of residence. If you’re social security number is not on your license, then it’s not on that bar code either.

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