When you buy a TV, lamp, or even a mesh chair for your teenager to take to college this fall, what business is it of the manufacturer to ask about your income, education, hobbies, and the car you drive? Frankly, none. It’s a tactic called data mining, the harvesting of personal information for companies to sell to marketers.
Companies make money from the data; you get peppered with spam and unsolicited sales pitches. Yet many consumers are scared into filling out those pesky product registration cards (or doing so online), fearing that failure to do so will void their warranty rights.
According to the California-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer education organization, the demographic questions amount to a deceptive data collection practice that has nothing to do with product registration. If you need to file a warranty claim, a sales receipt should suffice. More