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December 06, 2006

Online Shopping

I was wondering how secure is online shopping, because it can get pretty addictive. I used to go to the store to buy clothes because that's the fun of it, to try them on and to make that decision right on the spot... Walking around department stores... But I started buying online items especially from Victoria's Secret, because they offer crazy sales when you buy them in a bulk.

But they get addictive not only because they offer those sales, but once you buy them, they will keep sending you offers and other sales that entice you to buying more products from them. I love VS flannel pajamas - they are really comfortable, and their online store people NEVER fail to email me stuff about offers related to them. And this caught my attention: why do they keep sending me emails, and how do they know?

Today we learnt about how companies have our information and our spending habits, and I got scared because they have much more information about me than I would like them to have. I don't care if they have my home address because I keep moving in and out of apartments anyway, but the fact that they have my spending habits and other detail information will drive me crazy.

But I think it's okay as long as they keep these information to themselves. If they ended up selling my information to other companies, that will be VERY bad. That's unforgivable. That's violating my privacy right as an individual customer.

But the again, even if they were to sell my information to other companies, how would I know, until I start receiving weird emails and such? There are many instances when customers don't know what's going on at the other side, and I think that companies easily can take advantage of this to make more money for themselves.

So how is it possible for me to stay safe, even though I'm legally protected by laws and such? I don't think there's any one straight-cut path, and I don't think it's sensible to not do online shopping anymore just because of this. I guess it all comes down to the company's integrity and my (or the customers') alertness towards this matter.

Posted by kalbindo at December 6, 2006 12:21 PM

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