ID Scanners Make Consumers Leery

It's not unusual to be asked to show identification in order to make certain purchases, but now there's a growing trend among retailers to swipe your driver's license through an electronic reader.

That action has many consumers wondering what is being tracked and why.

The strip works like a credit card, but it contains all the information that's on the front of your license: name, address, and driver's license number. It's personal information, and the gathering of that personal info has consumers asking questions – with few answers from businesses.

"I don’t have any problem with being carded, but they actually take your driver’s license and actually swipe that data into their computer," said Escondidio resident Eric Abel.

“They swipe license to verify age," she said. “(They) leave an audit trail so that if they get audited they have proof that they did verify they were of legal age when purcahsing alcohol."

Target is  not alone in swiping IDs. Victoria’s Secret, Rite-Aid and other businesses swipe IDs for purchasing certain medicines or returning items. But what happens to your personal information? Legally the data cannot be retained for any other purpose.

Target did not respond to repeated inquiries on the issue, and in light of recent security breaches concern among consumers is rising.

"Frankly, I don't think they throw data away,” Abel said. “Nobody ever throws data away."

Consumers are generally OK with business asking for identification, but they don't trust the businesses to protect their personal information. As retailers and consumers get more high tech few see this problem going away.

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