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Consumer

ConsumerWatch: Safeway Discount Mobile App Raises Privacy Concerns

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A customer walks into a Safeway store in San Anselmo. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A customer walks into a Safeway store in San Anselmo. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Safeway has unveiled a new mobile app, offering shoppers personalized discounts. While some enjoy the lower prices, others are concerned about privacy.

The “Just For U” mobile app tracks what customers purchase during their trips to Safeway, gives personalized deals in return and additional savings compared to their Club Card.

Some worry about the hidden costs. “You are giving away information about who you are, what you care about, and frankly it creeps people out a little bit,” said marketing consultant Tara-Nicholle Nelson.

While Safeway’s new app may raise privacy concerns, shoppers already have their purchases tracked in other ways.

Nelson said, “Unless you make every purchase with cash everywhere you shop, your likes, dislikes, and purchasing behaviors are already being tracked by retailers and marketing companies nationwide.”

The app also provides customers paper-free coupons and can also notify customers when the products they buy go on sale.

Safeway said it does not share customers’ personal information, but the retailer’s privacy policy said it may provide information to authorities if subpoenaed.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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