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There is a small but crucial difference between the customer loyalty programmes of Kesko and the S Group, says Tuula Sario, a senior legal advisor at the Consumers' Union of Finland.
There is a small but crucial difference between the customer loyalty programmes of Kesko and the S Group, says Tuula Sario, a senior legal advisor at the Consumers' Union of Finland.

Finns are too gullible and should consider what kind of information they are comfortable sharing with businesses, says Tuula Sario, a senior legal advisor at the Consumers' Union of Finland.

Sario expressed her concerns about the privacy of consumers on Wednesday after the S Group announced that it will begin monitoring and storing information about the spending behaviour of customers using its loyalty card, the S-Etukortti, more carefully.

“I won't be using the loyalty card any more,” tweeted Sario. “I don't want that my purchase details are stored on a shop-by-shop basis.”

She pointed out that a particular problem with the changes announced by the retail co-operative is that the users of its loyalty card can only prohibit it from using the collected information for marketing communications, not from collecting the product-specific information in the first place.

Related posts:

- S Group to start collecting product-specific information on purchases (28 July, 2016)

Kesko, the main rival of the S Group, began storing product-specific information about the spending behaviour of customers using its loyalty card, K-Plussakortti, in 2014, but it allows the customers to prohibit the collection of information altogether, Maija Sorvari, the director of customer service at Kesko, confirms in an interview with Uusi Suomi.

She admits that very few members of the loyalty programme have decided to prohibit the retailer from storing information about their spending behaviour.

Sorvari also points out that members of the loyalty programme are eligible for all of the subsequent benefits regardless of whether or not they have prohibited the collection of information.

Sario estimates that the difference between the information collection policies of the retail giants is small but important.

“The fact that all information is collected automatically and that there's no way to prohibit the collection is a problem for the S Group,” she told Uusi Suomi. “I'm trying to encourage people to think about whether or not they should give out their personal information. And if you do, I hope that you do so deliberately.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Uusi Suomi
Source: Uusi Suomi

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