Monday, August 11, 2014

2286 Ex-amination

Data proliferates in our society and the temptation is ever present for companies to abuse it. Sometimes it's extremely creepy when they do.

Take FedEx.  Recently, when the battery finally went totally kaput on my old dumbphone, I was obliged to buy a smarter one. Verizon, the company I chose to buy it from, shipped it using FedEx. 

FedEx tried to deliver it and I wasn't there. The notice they left gave me the option of picking it up that day or leaving a signature absolving them of any financial responsibility should they leave an expensive phone on my doorstep.

I couldn't pick it up that day so I tried to go online to have them hold it at the FedEx warehouse. As part of that, they asked me to sign up for a FedEx account. Which I tried to do. Until the end of the process where they said they needed to ask a few questions to make sure I was who I said I was. 

As if my name, address, email, tracking number, and driver's license when I picked it up weren't sufficient.

The questions were multiple choice. I was prompted to select which choice was relevant to my life. One was when my house was built. One was where I lived last. One was the name of a person living in Tacoma. One of those name choices was my second ex-wife. 

FedEx had data from two places where I lived and one where my ex from two marriages ago lived. Spooky. Find me a foil hat. 

I paranoidly cancelled everything out. The next day I got an email from FedEx blithely informing me my account had been successfully opened. Perhaps my former wife vouched for me.

Maybe that's what the Ex in FedEx stands for.  

America, ya gotta love it.

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