Retailers use postal code information to target marketing, expert says

More and more retailers are asking for your postal code when you make a purchase. An expert says in most cases, you don’t need to worry about your privacy. The LCBO is among Canadian retailers that ask for a postal code at the checkout. Professor of marketing David Soberman at U of T’s Rotman School of Management says it shouldn’t be a cause of concern. “While people might worry about privacy concerns and they might worry about misuse of the information, probably the LCBO is not likely to be a candidate for misuse of the information,” he said. Soberman says some retailers use the postal code information to target marketing. “One of the arguments as to why they’re doing this is it will allow them to target their marketing efforts more effectively.” He says if you don’t want to receive such marketing, then there is no need to provide your postal code. If you’re paying by credit card and you don’t trust the retailer, Soberman says you might want to refuse. “It’s pretty easy these days for organizations. They can basically contract this out to third party companies who create links between the credit card name and the postal code and thereby can actually create your address,” he said. “If you don’t trust the merchant you’re dealing with I would suggest that you refrain from giving your postal code to protect yourself.”


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