I Stopped A Nosey Target Clerk From Scanning My License

Mike isn’t comfortable handing his ID to just anyone who asks. While buying some cold medicine at Target, he maneuvered his way into getting the clerk to back off on his driver’s license-scanning demands.

He writes:

I had an experience at Target today that I thought you might want to share with Consumerist readers.

I’ve been fighting a cold for a few days and decided to bite the bullet and buy some over-the-counter cold medicine. The Target cashier asked to see my ID. Being an alert Consumerist reader, I first politely asked him why. He said, “the machine told me to.” I jokingly asked him if one has to be 18 years old to buy cold meds now; he said yes (I’m 34). Rather than argue, I flipped open my wallet and showed my drivers license. He then asked me to pull it out to scan it into his system. I told him no – not unless he could tell me what and how information is stored by Target. He then said he could read my birthdate off my ID and enter that instead of scanning my license; I told him fine. He had to get a supervisor walking by to enter a code in the register to do this, but it was quick and easy.

A quick Google search suggests that Target’s store policy is to check ID for ALL cold medicine purchases, even if it doesn’t contain pseudoephedrine (the stuff I bought didn’t). Apparently, a few meth addicts have ruined it for the other 99.99% of the population!

I don’t want Target to keep my personal information in their database – I couldn’t find any info regarding what info is kept, for how long, or how secure it is. But it looks like giving a birthdate works instead and makes me feel like my privacy is more secure.

If you’ve tried this, or have another successful ID-protecting strategy, please share.