ANYONE REMEMBER ENVAULTED?:Courtesy of FWF, we learn that there is a market research company called Great Bridge Group that is offering 1% back on all your debit and credit card purchases if you agree to turn over your credit card transactions to them. We are not too enthusiastic about this, but probably not for the reasons you think.
We’re not actually concerned about information security and privacy. We have no reason to believe that this company is a scam set up to steal our credit card numbers. They are attempting to raise $800K in capital, and even if they were a scam–well, credit card issuers are pretty good about covering victims of this sort of thing. (Debit cards are another matter, which is why we prefer not to use them.)
And privacy? Assume somebody were out to destroy us, and that they could see all of our credit card transactions. What on earth are they going to do with that information? Can the fact that we like going to Bojangles a little more than is good for my health be used against us somehow? Great Bridge says they will anonymize data, and we’re inclined to believe them. We’ve worked with massive amounts of sensitive customer data for most of our careers, and we never did encounter anybody who used this data for nefarious purposes.
Our primary concern is that this company remain solvent enough to pay out its promised 1%. Back in 2011 there appeared a company called Envaulted with a similar idea. We signed up and got paid for a little while, but then the checks slowed down, and then the company went incommunicado, not to mention bankrupt. The website is still there, however.
But… what the heck. Our curiosity is getting the better of us, so we signed up. We don’t know enough about this thing to encourage any of you to do the same, but we’ll let you know how about our experience.