business news in context, analysis with attitude

Stop the presses!  A website called The Markup has broken the news that retailers sell data generated through loyalty programs to manufacturers.  The story has been picked up in other media, and a particular target is Kroger, with the argument being that if it is able to acquire Albertsons, the households it can track could grow from 60 million to 85 million.  This is, of course, old news … but I have some thoughts about why it is generating more heat than light, and how retailers need to embrace their programs as a feature, not a bug.