If one thing was evident from its IPO filing, it was that Groupon has a genius for spending and losing money. In fact, the company so excels at these activities that it had to invent its own twisted accounting to pretend to have made money.
Groupon apparently emailed tens of millions of customers to tell them about the expanded collection of personal information. It has broadened the definition of personal information to include more of the details that advertisers crave. Here's some of the data the company collects:
- contact information, including email address, phone, postal address, and social media website account names
- relationship information, which includes lifestyle and demographic information and going into Facebook Connect to pull up any social interactions
- mobile location information
We encourage Groupon Merchants and business partners to adopt and post privacy policies. However, the use of your Personal Information by such parties is governed by the privacy policies of such parties and is not subject to our control.In other words, there is no way to know what companies will do with the personal information, let alone a guaranteed production for how the information will be stored and used.
It's not surprising. Groupon has to figure out a way to make eventually make money. Given the likely downward pressure on its part of deal revenue and the difficulty in constantly replacing the many local merchants who try the service only once, more revenue is necessary. The question is now when, not if, regulators will start watching the company, giving it yet another thing to be concerned about.
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