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Is Fetch Rewards Use of Data Mining Ethical or Is this an Invasion of Stakeholder Privacy?

By: Lissa Marie D.

Contents in this post include data retrieved from the article Fetch Review written by Amber Kong on August 1, 2021:


I’m sure the majority of you are familiar with the phrase if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If you aren’t it’s pretty self-explanatory. With that being said, I want you to keep this phrase in mind while I discuss the controversial app Fetch Rewards. The following article, Fetch Review, shares why there is so much speculation behind this app.

While the app offers a “guaranteed” return on purchases, users of this app are wary of how this company reaps benefits. Hence, the question of whether or not this app is too good to be true. Kong’s article is able to answer underlying questions about this app by further informing her audience on what they actually do. She shares that fetch is a legitimate company that provides app users with points depending on the eligibility of the receipts they scan and upload. While the company takes certain details such as billing address, name, email address, payment method, and mailing address to process your receipts they announced that none of that information is made public. However, the company still sells the data from your scanned receipts to companies. Despite their claim that they aren’t selling personal information, they are still selling the data from your receipts to credit card companies. How do we know that’s where they draw the line?

Furthermore, it is unclear if the users of this app are actually aware of the fact that the information on their receipts is being sold to companies. The app does actively share where the users’ information is going unless individuals take it upon themselves to research what is being done with their receipts. Therefore, is it the responsibility of the company to inform the public of what’s going on behind the scenes, or should app users already expect that their expenses become public after uploading a receipt.

This raises the question of whether or not this is an invasion of stakeholder privacy on Fetch Reward’s behalf, if so is it a breach of information to sell the contents of their user’s receipts to companies.

The app is successfully able to lure its users in with the incentives they have to offer every time they scan their receipt, but users may do this unknowingly. Unaware of where their receipts are actually going. Therefore, because the company is unable to fully disclose where their information is going before users begin to engage with the app it’s reasonable to think this is at the fault of the company.

On the other hand, what the app does is no secret, and it can become quickly uncovered with one google search. So, if this information is accessible, are the users at fault? In contemplating both sides, it becomes evident that the company should make it a priority to fully disclose what they’re doing to avoid any breaches of information.

Still, after examining both sides deciding who is at fault is controversial. Do you think that what Fetch Rewards is doing is an invasion of stakeholder privacy? Do you think that the company is contributing to the growing problem of data breaches? Is what they’re doing justified? Or should the stakeholders take the responsibility of doing the research before participating in the app?

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