Airlines want personal information to give better deals
In an attempt to collect some information, airlines are requesting details on nationality and race.
12:00 22 July 2013
The next time you use your credit card to go shopping, you might be supplying an airline with additional information about you. A new booking system uses your purchase history, ethnicity, and the region of your passport. All this data is supposedly voluntarily given by the consumer in the hopes of receiving special deals.
Airlines say they hope to provide a more personal experience but critics argue that collecting such data only allows for profiling and discrimination. There are many companies who track purchase history, and your credit card companies may also keep the information for their own reasons.
Here are a few ways to keep your information from being used against you:
- Read disclosures—make sure to read all disclosures when making purchases whether or not you use your credit card. You may be able to opt out of the company keeping records of your purchases for their promotional use.
- Privacy—finds out from your credit card company how the collected information might be used, and under what circumstances it might be shared.
- Voluntary—a lot of websites will allow you to save various types of information, but it may not be required. Credit card companies, and others, may hope that the presence of a space in an online form will encourage consumers to fill it out, but the information is not necessarily required. Usually required fields are specially marked with a different colour or a symbol such as an asterisk.
- Equality—looks for companies that don’t ask for irrelevant information under the premise of giving better deals. This is an indication that the credit card company, or other company, may be trying to weasel unnecessary information out of customers. Support companies that give deals based on tenure, random selection, or which are offered to everyone such as first-time deals.