Are you wondering why some coupons say “tracking” on QSeer? And why tracking coupons matter?
Coupon barcodes (DataBars) contain space where manufacturers can put a unique sixteen digit tracking number. That tracking number can be tied back to your name, home phone, home address, computer IP address, or any information manufacturers have about you. Manufacturers don’t tell you when there is a tracking number in the databar, so the only way to know is with QSeer. The tracking numbers allow companies to see what you are buying and what coupons you redeem.
Most internet printed coupons and direct mail coupons contain a tracking number. We can’t control what manufacturers do with the data they collect, so QSeer at least lets you know if they are gathering data about you.
Why is it a big deal? Well, think about some of the coupons you use. Do you really want people to know you are using that product?
Or worse – what if it impacted your insurance rates. I don’t smoke, and I never have. However, we are always looking for data on family codes and manufacturer codes, so I signed up to receive cigarette coupons. Of course, those coupons have tracking information.
Now, what if I did redeem the coupons? Or what if I gave those coupons to a friend? What if redemption information got back to my health insurance company, and they decided to assume I was a smoker and charge me higher rates? Right now being a smoker is one of the few things insurance companies can charge more for, so you can bet they are looking for data to find out who smokes. I sure wouldn’t want to be charged higher rates just because of coupon redemption.