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Letters to the Editor

Oh (big) brother

Joyce A. Braunscheidel March 2nd, 2011

Where did our democracy go? With 9/11 came fingerprinting, radio-frequency identification, body scanners, microchips and cameras, just to name a few.

I went to a national shoe store chain in northwest Oklahoma City to exchange a gift (size change). The exchange was going well until we were asked for a driver’s license. When I asked the manager why my driver’s license was needed, we were told “it’s store policy.” After further questioning and not receiving an answer, I was told it was to cut out fraud.

I had a receipt and was only doing an exchange, so that made little sense. He then said it was for data storage. We offered up the driver’s license, but told him he could look at the license, but we did not allow him to put the license into their system. He said he could not complete the transaction if we did not give up our personal information.

When I suggested he tell people that in order to make an exchange or return that customers must agree to give up their private information for data mining, I was told “it is on the back of the receipt.” He had us in his clutches and he knew it; we either give up our personal information for the chain’s personal files to do whatever they wish, or we lose $70. We gave it up, took the money and will never return.

While I am concerned about fraud and the poor corporations fighting a battle against thieves (although he admitted that was not the case), I am far more concerned about the crimes they commit against citizens’ privacy and civil rights. When asked to show my license with a purchase on my credit card, I will gladly do so; however, I am never asked for it.

This shoe store chain has left me wondering what country’s policies my beloved country is now emulating. I believe the Founding Fathers would be disturbed to see how we have slipped so far away from the dream they had and so close to being back from whence we came.

—Joyce A. Braunscheidel
Oklahoma City

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03.02.2011 at 02:59 Reply

Store policies have nothing to do with the founding fathers.  So while I agree with your anger as a consumer, I am actually put off by your attempt to link this with big government.  The financial line you have to cross in order for the store and government to meet is at $3,000.  Then they take your information because you could be money laundering.  And you can thank the Patriot Act for that. invasion.