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Store scanning driver's license barcodes

June 29, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I purchased a bottle of wine at my grocery store last week.  I showed them my driver’s license, as requested, and they proceeded to scan the barcode on the back of my license into some piece of equipment. In the past, they simply looked at my ID and typed in my birthdate. What personal information is stored in these barcodes? What kind of devices can read the information? Are businesses storing this data? Who has access to it?

Landlord overcharging for damages upon move-out

June 20, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I moved into an apartment and paid a pet fee since I have a small dog. When it was time to move out, there were a few carpet stains, but they were confined to one room.  I was charged $200 for an overall cleaning of the apartment, plus $1,000 to replace all the carpet in the apartment. Can the apartment complex do that?  When I spoke with them, they said that their carpet is five years old, and when they replace it, they replace all of it, but that I was given a break and charged a discounted rate.  This doesn’t sound right to me. What do you think?

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