If knowledge is power, the Information Age is allowing Big Government to become very powerful indeed. From Seattle:
A King County letter that ended up in the mailboxes of thousands of pet owners is raising concerns over privacy.
The letter told pet owners to license their pets or face a $250 fine.
It is how authorities knew them to be pet owners that has people alarmed.
Turns out for the last four years, King County has been using data companies to target specific taxpayers, or in this case pet owners. That means every time customers swipe those rewards cards, they’re gathering data.
Buy a can of cat food, swipe your Safeway card to get a few pennies off, and bureaucrats know you have a cat.
Cameron Satterfield of King County Animal Services assures us we should have no worries.
“This is not King County going and grabbing this data, you know, big brother watching what you buy at the grocery store,” said Satterfield.
Instead, the county said they pay the company who pays stores such as Safeway and QFC for access to customer data contained in every one of those reward card swipes.
Okay. I feel much better now.
The implications are endless. Imagine Washington continues its incremental nationalization of healthcare. You need bypass surgery before your ticker gives out. But wait, what’s this? We see you bought a box of Twinkies. Sorry, no operation for you, in accordance with regulation 82934792374DLGE, section 3495793DGEROIGJ, paragraph 3.
On a tip from Jim.