Perks or Privacy, which is preferred?

I recently found myself scrolling through my email, “birthday” typed in the search bar, to gather all my special day freebies and discounts, when it was then pointed out to me that I really made the choice to give up my privacy for a free Starbucks drink, or $5 at Hot Topic, or “buy an entree, get a dessert” at many chain restaurants. I didn’t think much of it at the time, in fact, I joked it off entirely, simply happy to save a penny while enjoying my favorite little life pleasures. But lately I’ve been thinking, is that really the right call? As I’ve downloaded more apps, and been asked to create more accounts, I’ve started to feel a little uneasy about just going with the flow and giving all my info, allowing all the access, etc, etc. It’s had me really wondering, what all do these companies have access to? What could they suddenly change in their privacy notice and when it pops up on my app I simply click “accept” so I can continue to place my order? At what cost am I getting these “free” perks? I’ve been curious of how others think and feel about this matter, and why. Is it worth it, or should privacy be priority?? :thinking:

Hi, @Erin, thank you for the post!
As a privacy extremist and student of the craft, there’s definitely a few sayings about privacy in general; one of them being: “if it’s convenient, it’s not private.” Is there anything inherently wrong with wanting to save a few pennies/dollars? Of course not. However, it’s up to you to decide if trading your very being (all the info about yourself that makes you, well…you) is worth those few pennies/dollars.

In my case, absolutely not. Companies are making millions of dollars off of you and everyone else they collect data from. When you can, always use the website version of things versus using apps. Apps are convenient, so what does that mean? Not private. That is why so many companies pressure people and advertise everywhere to “download our app today!” They are harvesting your data. Your very being. Apps can also track where you are, your phone info., your phone number, devices that are around you via Bluetooth, etc. etc.

It sounds like you are having thoughts about all these accounts and apps you download. This is great! You are definitely headed in the right direction. I love to see when people start becoming consciously aware of this. Keep up the critical thinking and great work! If I had to give a tip or word of advice, it would be: Start deleting those apps, reclaim your being back, and stop letting greedy corporations profit off of your data that they sell to thousands of others or whoever the highest bidder is.

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I don’t take advantage of most of those free perks, so where possible I stop providing the information that gets you them.

The apps may be more insidious than just harvesting data, they contain page after page of ‘boilerplate’ text that almost nobody reads but you have to accept to use the app. I’ve read that more than one fast food outlet has an app that in it’s legalese requires you agree to arbitration instead of a lawsuit for things like burns from too-hot coffee.

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I definitely think the biggest thing for me is how shady they are about all of it. Like, yeah, we as users should be reading through all this stuff we’re agreeing to instead of just clicking “accept” and moving on with our day, but they seem to constantly be making small changes that are easily overlooked, or word it in a way that the average person doesn’t even understand.

It for sure is insane that some of the fast-food chains have started to include that. I remember when I first heard about it, I thought it was nothing more than a joke. They’re smart about it, though. One chain that started doing that is one that I used their app for very often. Amazing deals, especially in BOGO form, but of course, “in app only”. I was quick to delete my account with them when the news came out and that little “accept” box popped up on my screen. No BOGO for 25 cents burger is worth potential justice haha.

Hey there, @mikenolan, thanks for joining in the discussion; welcome!

Exactly. Companies love having that “legal-ese” you spoke of that they know no one will take the time to read. Especially when it comes to fast food apps and things of that nature. Usually, if you’re getting an app of that nature, you quickly want to see if a deal is going on or you’re already at the fast food place but want a deal that is “app-only” that you may have seen on a sign or something, and you’re already in line or about to be and you just want to quickly see the deal so you just immediately accept any pop-ups that show.

This ties into what I just said above as well. They bank on no one reading it anyway, and it works. I obviously understand a business wanting to cover every possible thing so they don’t get sued, but these companies are profiting off of what people aren’t reading.

Oh, definitely. They have the money to hire the best lawyers and people who come up with these terms & conditions, privacy policies, etc.

This is key. It is never enough to simply delete the app. Delete the account.

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We have essentially stopped eating fast food, but not because of the apps or other mischief. We’re on a ketogenic diet and there’s very little at a fast food place that is keto-friendly, often not even the salad.

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Oh, how I could never, but kudos to you! About to age myself :sweat_smile:, but forever wishing MCD would bring back their fruit and walnut “salads” :weary:. It would for sure be nice to have healthier options at fast food places again, though. It seemed like when Covid-19 hit they all did away with the little bit of proper nutrition they actually offered, which is kind of ironic at best haha.

@B: Personally, I used to be super guilty of being in a rush and just quickly pushing “ok” or “accept” to whatever would appear on my screen. Seemed like the drive thru lines would finally start moving as soon as I got the app going lol.

Always being sure to delete the account, not just the app, just ties right back into the whole being shady thing. Some of these apps make it beyond complicated to actually delete your account. Many times I just said “forget it” and left them because I was sick of the hoops. Definitely a lot better about that now. Ngl though, I have to give some of that credit to my boyfriend. He opened my eyes to a side of this privacy stuff that, even though I knew/noticed, I didn’t particularly care about before.

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That’s really nice to hear about your diet!

Yeah, I’ve sent countless e-mails to companies demanding that my data be removed, etc. Have been doing that since the mid-2010s when I got into the privacy game. To legally hold themselves accountable, they give an option to opt-out (usually), but make it extremely hard to find or figure out.

Good man!

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