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Free public supermarket data supermarket

Data enter your store receipts, shopping lists, social priorities, etc.
(+2, -2)
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Thanks to whoever it was for publishing the poynter to the website of that frequent Walmart shopper which is at http://lightning.prohosting.com/~receipts/. Shopping lists are the sort of thing many people see sa personal or even private information. I fail to understand why. In fact, why limit posts to cyberspace to retail receipts, which is to say past tense information? Why not add a future dimension (or would that be a future direction?) by posting to cyberspace that list refrigerator magneted to your steel entry door? That way a merge of tables representing store receipts found on cyberspace could be joined with a merge of personal shopping lists found on cyberspace. For more fun, the public domain could contain information about the spending priorities of people inclined to volunteer such information (see link[1]). That way people who want to, say, maximize "percent union label by dollar spent" and someone else who wants to minimize "percent gross weight as packaging" can both go home confident that their "market basket" is on the efficient frontier of market baskets meeting the specifications of their shopping list. Big corporations are mining data to exploit what's left of market inefficiency to their advantage. I don't see any reasons for consumer/workers not to do the same. The challenges include that of persuading people to volunteer their time to the project, take certain risks concerning their personal privacy. I'm trying to dream up arguments for why the potential benefits exceed the potential sacrifices. I'm also trying to anticipate and plan for the problem of disinformation. Hopefully it won't be a major problem, but better to be prepared.
LoriZ, Jun 03 2001

[1] X-ray specs for consumer products http://www.halfbake...consumer_20products
[jutta, Jun 03 2001]

Digital receipts http://www.ncr.com/...sa_burke_speech.htm
They'll do it, whether you do it or not. [LoriZ, Dec 27 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Grocery Store Revenge! http://ourworld.com...an_Lenort/groce.htm
I found one! [LoriZ, Mar 31 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       [admin: Try using the [link] below an idea's text to add URLs to an idea. If you just place them in the text like you did with the X-ray specs, some browsers can't word-wrap them and that messes up the layout.]
jutta, Jun 03 2001

       I'm a little unclear--kind of a Consumer Reports submitted by supermarket shoppers, along the lines of "I bought 5 lb of organic turnips for $.45 / lb US, and the grower, Squidgy Farms, specifically avoided using slave labor?" The idea of a consumer-driven data mining cooperative is great, and I don't think it's unreasonable given the success of retail cooperatives like REI (Recreational Equipment Inc, a cooperative originally founded to make mountain-climbing equipment available in the Seattle area at reasonable cost).
Dog Ed, Jun 03 2001

       'Those who would give up a little freedom...' I don't want anyone thinking they have a 'right' to know what I buy or don't buy, or how I spend my money. Sure, THIS is harmless, but then there's a little more...and a little more, and a little more, and soon you've got the camel in your sleeping bag.
StarChaser, Jun 03 2001

       The more things change, the more things stay the same. I'd enjoy a return to the type of interest folks showed in each other's lives a couple three hundred years ago. I'll probably live to regret saying it, but, in olden days when someone died or was legally hamstrung it was common to list the principal's estate down to the nth degree of detail. "Four calling birds, three french hens, ....etc."   

       Bring this back and we'll have to hire so many bean counters that unemployment will cease to exist.
reensure, Jun 03 2001

       LoriZ, have you read David Brin's book _The Transparent Society_? He talks about the same sort of thing as this idea, but applied more widely, to much more of our personal information than just shopping lists. I think he makes an interesting argument, whether you agree with it or not.
wiml, Jun 06 2001

       Perhaps there is a market here for a new kind of service -- a sort of meta-shopping service for consumer goods in which you specify the product you want to buy, how much you're willing to pay, and additional parameters (organic non-GMO; made in the UK; exploitation-free). The service then connects buy/deliver services with your order to provide the goods to you at the price you specify. Value could be added by mining the aggregate data for the group's total impact -- e.g. "our" purchases of Nike shoes drove New Balance to do more offshore production, closing a factory in New Mexico...   

       The big challenge would be the collection of that volume of data (not to mention data integration from disparate sources). Placing orders online takes as much time as just buying the stuff, and you are less connected to your neighborhood. On the impact mining front, the data collection is real tough. The only data you get on your purchases in electronic format is your credit card statement, which does not contain an itemized list. Retailers would have to be willing to release your purchase data to you (or the buy/deliver services would have to collect and report it back to the meta-shop).
nauda, Jun 07 2001

       Collaborative filtering schemes could be used to make the same recommendations (i.e. produce that "efficient market basket") without directly revealing the contents of any particular person's shopping list. "People like you buy Tide(tm). Maybe you should try it?"
egnor, Nov 14 2001

       Next time try the de-caf.
entremanure, Nov 14 2001

       Egnor: I'd like that "efficient market basket" if I set the efficiency criteria. For example, if I had more or less complete knowledge of what's available where for how much, I could conceivably calculate a market basket that minimizes total price, maximizes protein/fat ratio, minimizes net/gross weight ratio, whatever combination of parameters is important to me. Likewise others would have the same data set to work with, only with their stated parameters. I could care less how the information about a given product fits into the lifestyle of whoever submitted that table row. It's more about consumers sharing marketplace "intelligence" than sharing tidbits about personal habits. It's not the consumer whose wall of "privacy" I'd like to chip away at. B)
LoriZ, Nov 15 2001

       Egnor: Define how it decides who 'people like (me)' are, and maybe.
StarChaser, Nov 16 2001

       [wiml] Brin makes a prediction in his book about loss of privacy in the wake of an attack on the US. His prediction is proving to be uncannily accurate.
bristolz, Nov 16 2001


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