Direct Line Blog

Rewards app Shopkick to test consumers' privacy limits

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How much personal information and purchasing data are consumers comfortable giving to brands? Major retailers, including Best Buy, Macy's, Sports Authority and American Eagle Outfitters could soon find out after supporting the new smartphone application Shopkick.

The app, now available for the iPhone, gives consumers points for entering a store, trying out — or trying on — products, and scanning barcodes in dressing rooms, to name a few options. Points can eventually be redeemed for discounts.

What remains to be seen is whether consumers will download the app en masse, or if they'll be scared off because of privacy concerns. For instance, Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a consumer privacy group, told The New York Times that the app knows “where you are, what you buy, your spending habits, passions, excesses.”

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