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CASPIAN: Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering

Is Big Brother in YOUR grocery cart?

[Picture of man holding ClubCard] RFID chips, tiny tracking devices the size of a grain of dust, can be used to secretly identify you and the things you're carrying--right through your clothes, wallet, backpack, or purse.

Have you already taken one home with you?

For information about CASPIAN's opposition to RFID, see our new web site:

For information on RFID visit

In The News

Publix ranks #1
Supermarket chain retains top spot on customer satisfaction survey
For the 12th year in a row Publix Supermarkets has retained the top rating for supermarkets in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)
<< click here for more information >>

Another one bites the dust
Brown and Cole of Seattle drops card program
A Seattle reader dropped us a note to let us know that local grocer Brown and Cole has decided to drop their dreaded card program.
<< click here for more information >>

SOLD, to the highest bidder!
Albertsons' assets sold to CVS, Supervalue and investor group
After announcing late last year they were putting themselves on the auction block, Albertson's has been sold.
<< click here for more information >>

A world divided
Why your shopping history may cost you
A collection of quips and quotes from the industry that demonstrate why customer specific marketing will soon be coming to a store near you.
<< click here for more information >>

Privacy policy updated after initial article
In an update from an earlier article, we take another look at the SmartBargains privacy policy
<< click here for more information >>

Name that... name?
Ebay isn't just for knick knacks
It may be illegal to sell your kidney, but creative ebay sellers are selling things almost as dear.
<< click here for more information >>

Media Spotlight
( Loyalty Cards: Reward or Threat?

( Alternatives to Loyalty Cards

The Tucson Citizen
(reposted from the Indianapolis Star)
Discount cards have pros, cons.

The Rochester Democrat
Store loyalty cards are strong draw

Personal Finance Magazine (UK)
At what price loyalty?

The Christian Science Monitor
What men want in the supermarket

The Boston Herald
(reprinted at
`Loyalty cards' mean no privacy in store

The price of loyalty

The Guardian
The price isn't right

IC Wales
Loyalty that comes at a price

Do supermarket discount cards save you money?

Reno Gazette-Journal
Club Cards actually may cost you money

Businessweek Magazine
How grocery stores are feeding fears

RFID spotlight
The Washington Post
Orwellian eyes

More information on RFID is available at:

Pricing Studies

There have been numerous studies that have compared the prices of stores with "loyalty" programs with non-card stores, with the consistent, clear winner being the card-free markets. Each of the three studies below highlights a different aspect of card programs, and their cost to consumers.

Kroger Sale Prices Examined
We compared Kroger sale prices before and after the "Plus" card arrived in Indiana in 2000. Not surprisingly, we found that discounts were deeper before the card. You can also take a look at the e-mails we've received about Kroger's non-existent savings.

Miles of Aisles, part II
In this study Zelda Gordon examines prices at 4 stores in New Mexico over a 30 month period. The most interesting finding shows that Albertsons, (who was quietly rolling out card programs throughout the country but did not yet have one in New Mexico), experienced a remarkable 25.84% increase in price, far exceeding the .78% increase of her local card free store and the Consumer Price Index factor of 1.07383.

"Everyday" high prices
Card stores like to point out the "savings" their programs offer by printing the amount at the bottom of the receipt. However, because few people purchase nothing but sale items, the true test of a grocers value is in the everyday prices. Our study shows card store "everyday" prices from 28% to 71% higher, which means that not only is every non-sale item you place in your cart costing you dearly, but that the "savings" they are so fond of pointing out to you are grossly inflated.

For additional price studies see our page on pricing issues.

To find out why you should oppose cards, please read these arguments. Then join the fight and sign up to receive our periodic newsletter. Finally, let Kroger, Albertson's, Winn Dixie and others know how you feel about their invasive card programs.

Why using a fake (or anonymous) card is not the solution

Media Requests:

Requests for interviews should be directed to (877) 287-5854 or via email to
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For general information, comments or suggestions please use our feedback form

Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering
An information clearinghouse and resource for community and national action

1999-2004 Katherine Albrecht. All rights reserved.