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Published: Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Consumer security


Why does retailer scan licenses?

Regarding Target's assertions that no pin numbers were compromised in Saturday's Herald, I felt compelled to tell you of my experience in the Woodinville Target store on Dec. 13.
While shopping, I read a sign beneath Starbucks coffee gifts that allowed two plain Starbucks mugs were included with purchase of two one-pound bags of coffee. I asked a clerk if I was reading the sign right, as other coffees were nearby, and he assured me I was correct. At the checkout, the clerk there proceeded to charge for the cups. I told him about the sign, asking the other clerk, etc., and he insisted he had to charge for the cups. I said, "No, take the charge off as I don't want them, then." He called the manager over, she insists that I would have to buy three bags, rather than two, for the cups to be included. I told her the sign was incorrect then, and no, I did not want three bags, just the two.
Of course, by this time, the line behind me was beginning to form. The clerk continued to ring up my sales, and midway through, he says, "I have to scan your driver's license." I said, "No, you don't, I am paying cash."
He said, again, "I have to scan the code on your driver's license." Again, I refused, saying "I am paying cash, you do not need that information."
He said, "I can't continue on the monitor then." Again, he called the manager over, and said, "She won't give me her driver's license information." Of course, the line by this time was long and in most cases, the customer would be mortified or at the least, extremely embarrassed.
I told the manager they did not need my personal information for a cash transaction. She pushed a few buttons and he was able to finish the sales, but my opinion of Target and its service had diminished greatly.
In all the years I had shopped at Target, this particular situation had never occurred and I thought it extremely odd. However, based on the hacking, this may well be another way the hackers got personal information with cash customers who didn't use a debit/credit card.
Just thought it was worth letting Herald readers know to really double check their bank account balances, even if they paid cash for their transactions, as they may inadvertently gave personal info.
Patricia McGuire
Woodinville
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.