Of course, the leftists are outraged. This article from Consumer Reports paints a picture of evil corporations blatantly invading your privacy for undoubtedly sinister purposes. How dare they!
But let’s stop for a second and think a little bit about what is actually going on here. Retailers aren’t spying on you because they’re just voyeurs. They aren’t trying to stalk you for no legitimate purpose whatsoever. They are monitoring your shopping behaviors not to make your life worse (that’s why the government monitors you) but to make your shopping experience better! All of the “creepy” tactics that this article rails against are, in actuality, highly advanced technologies designed to gather data on your shopping patterns so that the store can construct a shopping experience more personally tailored to your own needs and desires.
What exactly is the harm in that? That you didn’t “opt-in?” BS. A retail store is private property. You have no inherent right to privacy on someone else’s property (please don’t correct me by saying that the Supreme Court says you do, we’ve already established that I don’t care about what the Supreme Court says). Wal-Mart can install however many cameras it wants. You “opt-out” by not vising Wal-Mart. I must have missed the part of the constitution that establishes a right to shop at a specific retail store without being recorded.
Not only is it a certainty that retailers have no nefarious intent in collecting your “personal information” (apparently which brand of toilet paper and what kind of car you drive are deeply held secrets), but this is the type of information that could not possibly be damaging to someone in any way. Even if a store was collecting this stuff for entirely evil purposes, exactly what evil could they commit with it? How could you possibly be harmed by someone knowing your shopping behavior?
Of course, Consumer Reports doesn’t actually care about protecting your privacy at all. I’ve never once heard them complain about red-light cameras, or the domestic use of surveillance drones. They think that tracking your behavior in great detail is just fine and dandy, so long as it’s the state (an institution with a long and storied history of mass murder) doing it. Wal-Mart tracking you so that it can set up a more efficient way for you to buy things is evil, government tracking you so that it can set up a more efficient way to kill you is perfectly okay.
I for one thoroughly endorse all of the groundbreaking technology explained in this article. I absolutely love the idea of a store monitoring my habits within the store in order to create a better and more personalized shopping experience for me. Wal-Mart can have all of my “personal information” it wants. I trust them to use it to do what they do best, enhance my quality of life by offering me products I enjoy at rock-bottom prices.