What's Up With Rite Aid Scanning My ID To Buy Booze?

Consumerist reader Mark lives in the L.A. area and says he often picks up his alcohol from Rite-Aid because they’ve got good prices. But now Mark says Rite-Aid has gone beyond checking IDs and is actually scanning them into their computer. Not cool, in his book.

Here’s Mark’s story:

During one visit, I attempted to decline the swipe and was met with appalling hostility from the associate at the register. I attempted to calmly explain to her that I didn’t mind showing her my ID, but I did not want to scan it because I didn’t want Rite Aid to have all of my pertinent information, including my photo, and organ donor status, just for buying some beer. She eventually succumbed to my persistence, and typed in my birth date on the computer, but not without a few exasperated sighs.

The second visit at a different location went better after I explained again how I didn’t want Rite Aid to have all of my information, he politely entered my birth date into the computer and no swipe was required. The associate assured me it is kept confidential, but I have issues with it being kept period. And with the track record many companies have lately with keeping customers’ personal information secure, I take the reassurance that it is kept “confidential”with a healthy helping of salt.

So, what exactly is going on here? Is Rite Aid trying to gather our info for some insight into our purchasing patterns to improve marketing strategies? Or are they checking up to see how much and often you buy certain products, in an effort to keep tabs on anything that could be illegal? Is Big Brother just tapping into our lives in one more way?

In any case, remember: You can always try to say no.