The Seattle Times has an editorial that begins:
Recently, some King County residents received a letter from the government reminding them they are required by law to register their pets. The letter was sent to a mailing list generated by a marketing company that gets its information from various sources, including grocery-store loyalty cards.
Wait! The government is contacting people who buy pet food to say they are suspected pet-license scofflaws? What’s next? A letter from the health department noting purchases of ice cream and potato chips?
This practice by Regional Animal Services of King County raises privacy concerns. Yes, the data are readily available to internet marketers tracking clicks online. But that doesn’t mean the government should be using it to track its citizens.
Read more on the Seattle Times.