October 1, 2005

Welcome to CASPIAN

But I love my CVS card!!!

Welcome to CASPIAN: "CASPIAN was created to oppose a disturbing trend in the supermarket industry -- 'club' or 'loyalty' schemes. Here's how they work: Shoppers provide their name, address, phone number, and in many cases, their driver's license number, social security number, and demographic information to the store. In exchange, they are issued a numbered plastic card with a barcode on the back.

Every time they shop at the store they are encouraged to use the card so that a permanent record can be made of what they buy. In exchange for providing personal data to the store and allowing themselves and their purchases to be monitored, shoppers receive discounts on selected items as a reward for their 'loyalty.'

Though supermarkets are touting these discounts as the greatest thing that ever happened to consumers, the fact is that discounts have been around for a long time -- they used to be called 'sales' and did not require people to sign away their privacy with numbered registration cards.

Our Purpose
Many of us are uneasy, puzzled, and downright angry that supermarkets seem so anxious to register shoppers. We feel that obtaining a basic survival item such as food should not require the use of a number. We feel that information about intimate details of our lives, such as the very food we put into our mouths, should not be stored in a computer database and subject to scrutiny. If you agree with us, and want to stop corporations from strong-arming us into accepting these abuses, then you've come to the right place. "

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