Sunday, May 11, 2008

Is it OK to lie?

Like me, Kevin Drum doesn't like retail loyalty cards. Without rehashing that argument, I was struck in the comments by how many people say that those who dislike giving up private information should just lie to get the cards.

That's always seemed wrong to me because it's so much like, you know, lying. Are my ethical standards just hopelessly out of date in the internet age? Is it morally correct to lie to large, impersonal, heartless corporations?

2 comments:

Mark T said...

I lie is a deliberate misrepresentation of information or withholding thereof from someone who has a right to know . Stores don't have that right. If they want to make you hold a card so that they can give you a small discount off their normally outrageous prices, while at the same time collecting information on your buying habits, that's their choice. But I owe them nothing besides money at the cash register.

This attitude that we owe them anything is odd, as if they have trained us to be good consumers. Are we really that compliant and submissive?

My name is Joseph P. Schmeau, so far as they are concerned. That's all they are entitled to know.

Mark T said...

On reading the comments I found 1) many people believe that they are saving money by using loyalty cards, and 2) even if I use a fake name and phone number, the stores find out and take note of my real name if I use a credit or debit card. Bastards.