- Created on 27 November 2013
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Walmart has amassed a trove of personal data on 60 percent of adult Americans -- possibly over 145 million people -- according to estimates from a report released Tuesday.
The retailing giant collects information on what shoppers buy, where they live and what they like via in-store Wi-Fi, Walmart.com and other company apps, according to the report. The analysis was prepared by three pro-worker advocacy groups, The Center for Media Justice, ColorofChange.org and SumOfUs. Information on shoppers allows Walmart and more than 50 third-party sites to profile customers and infer things like relative age, income, gender and race in order to target people for specific products and deals, according to the report.
"This is part of a growing trend that leaves American consumers -- particularly consumers of color and poor consumers -- really vulnerable to violations of their online privacy," said Malkia Cyril, the head of the Center for Media Justice, a left-leaning media rights advocacy group. In order to compile its figure, the report's authors used a Walmart statement in which the company's CEO said that 60 percent of Americans shop at the store each month. The authors then used U.S. adult population estimates, and assumed the company had information on all shoppers based on statements about Walmart data collection.
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- Created on 26 November 2013
Shoppers move through a Best Buy store on November 23, 2012 in Naples, Florida. Although controversial, many big retail stores have again decided to get a head start this year for Black Friday and open on Thanksgiving Day or at midnight instead of the traditional dawn Friday opening time. Black Friday is the official start of the holiday shopping season and the busiest shopping day of the year for many retailers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) | Spencer Platt via Getty Images
Although retailers have started creeping into Thanksgiving by pushing Black Friday openings earlier and earlier, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that a big majority of Americans think retailers should stay closed on Thanksgiving so workers can have the day off.
According to the new poll, 62 percent of Americans think businesses should close on Thanksgiving so workers can have the day off, while only 27 percent said that they think stores should feel free to stay open if there is demand for it.
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- Created on 25 November 2013
Shutterstock / norhazlan
This is a photo of three piles of money, likely more than you have in your savings account. (Photo credit: Getty)
In an effort to protect their record profits, banks might soon charge you for the privilege of having a savings account.
I know what you're thinking: Banks already charge customers outrageous fees for the privilege of having bank accounts. But if the Federal Reserve dares to try and help the economy by cutting a special interest rate it pays banks, fees could get even more outrageous, the Financial Times reports (subscription only). Such a move by the Fed would lose banks some easy money, and they could take the difference out of their customers' hides.
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- Created on 22 November 2013
Walmart workers and their supporters are planning to kick off this year's holiday shopping season with protests at 1,500 Walmart stores around the country on Nov. 29. Advocates for Walmart workers hope to use Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, to draw attention to what they describe as low wages and retaliation against employees who criticize the company.
Protestors are hoping for an even better turnout than last year, when hundreds of Walmart workers walked off the job in 46 states on Black Friday, according to OUR Walmart, a group advocating for Walmart workers. Protests have already occurred in multiple cities this month -- most notably in Los Angeles, where more than 50 Walmart workers and supporters were arrested in what organizers described as the largest single act of civil disobedience in the retailer's history.
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