The other day, I wrote up a pretty thorough writeup on Darkreading, about the consequences for TJX after their huge privacy breech. As many of you know, having this blog long enough, I’m a huge consumer advocate, and I spend a lot of time talking with “normal” people (people who know little to nothing about technology), as it helps me gain perspective on what their lives are like. Say what you will about consumers, not understanding them is not understanding how to build secure interfaces. Anyway, the important part of that article was this quote:
Interestingly, we collected anecdotal evidence from some users who said that they won’t stop shopping at TJX stores, but they will stop using their credit cards there. That’s a double win for TJX. Not only are they retaining their customers, but they are cutting their credit card chargebacks and processing fees for a percentage of their clients.
So it’s a win for TJX to lose nearly 100MM credit card numbers. But then I started talking to people about the recent news about Burlington Coat Factory, JCPenney, and Macy’s selling raccoon dog fur (a type of dog). Now _that_ got a different reaction. Sure, ID theft is bad, but not bad enough to stop getting great deals. But if you kill a dog, every person I asked about it (most of whom had never heard this by the way) said they either had serious reservations about ever shopping there again, or flat out decided to boycott them entirely. I doubt that makes enough of a difference to make them opt for different types of fur or against fur entirely, but it’s at least something to make you stop and think about where the social values of the American public lies.