Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Shoppers at military commissaries will soon have to hand over their Department of Defense ID cards to be scanned during checkout.
Defense Commissary Agency officials say the scans will allow them to obtain more information about their customers.
Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO said in a news release:
"In addition to verifying customers as authorized commissary patrons, we'll gain information that will give us a better understanding of our patrons, allowing the agency to provide the commissary benefit more effectively and efficiently."
The demographic information culled from the Department of Defense ID card will include ID number, age, branch of service, rank, and household size.
The Navy Times reports the scans will provide commissary and DoD officials with the demographic makeup of customers who use food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), and the Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) nutrition program.
Some commissary users aren't completely comfortable with the change. Military dependent Ivy Griffin, a Kaiserslautern High School junior, told Stars and Stripes.
“I just wonder what information they are trying to get. I’m not particularly happy about it — it’s more of a hassle.”
But Joseph Jeu insists consumers' private information will not be exploited:
"The methods, processes and information we’ll use will not compromise our customers’ privacy – they can be sure of that. We're putting technology to work to better understand our customers and ensure the commissary benefit continues to remain relevant to them now and in the future."
All military commissaries should be utilizing the checkout ID scan by mid-January.
For a list of FAQ about the new ID scanning program, click here.