After this week’s listeria detection that led to a nationwide stone fruit recall, members-only megastore Costco figured it should warn its customers personally. Costco actually called individual customers to let them know they should toss any recently purchased nectarines, peaches, plums, or pluots. Unfortunately, the possible listeria outbreak wasn’t the only call for alarm: While it was certainly a nice gesture, exactly how Costco knew who to call raises some bigger questions about its data practices.

After California company Wawona Packing Co. detected a possible listeria contamination in stone fruit packed between June 1 and July 12 and issued a recall, chains like Walmart, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s posted warnings on their websites. Cosco went one step further. According to the Huffington Post, Costco was able to assemble a list of customers who could have purchased the fruits in question, using the consumer data it had already compiled on the individuals.

To read the full article, please click here.

Source: Written by Alicia Lu.


Image Credit: Meeting in Progress by Camilo Rueda López 2008 (CC BY-ND 2.0)