Just As I Thought

And a blood sample, please

My ex Jann related a story yesterday, growling on his cell phone outside a 7-11 where he stopped to buy cigarettes.
Evidently, 7-11 (at least, in California) now requires its clerks to “swipe” customer driver licenses for purchases like cigarettes, porn, or liquor. Ostensibly, this is to ensure that the purchaser is over the legal age to buy these items. In reality, Jann is a 35 year old man who hardly looks under 21 (sorry, Jann). So what is the real reason for doing this?
The back of most driver licenses contains more than just your age — it holds a myriad of information about you. One has to ask what 7-11 is doing with that information. In a scary new twist on this story, he tells me today that he was in contact with the 7-11 headquarters, who — get this — were able to bring up his information on their computers when he called.
It’s scary how this sort of “big brother” world has sprung up around us so quietly that we didn’t notice.

[Update 2pm: Jann got a follow-up call from the 7-11 headquarters this afternoon. They say that because California does not encrypt the information on driver licenses (except the social security number), they are free to collect and use the information for marketing. The 7-11 guy ended by saying that “if you don’t like it, don’t shop at 7-11.” Good idea.]


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