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Ethics Question: Using Other People's Receipts?

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    Ethics Question: Using Other People's Receipts?

    So, I'm on a massive receipt scanning kick, its reducing my cost to get groceries, etc. Sometimes I've noticed that at a lot of places, people will leave their paper receipts lying around. For example, at the grocery store or at Subway sandwiches. They just pay for something, then throw the receipts out or leave them on a shelf or something.

    Is it ethical to use someone else's receipts if you're working cash back apps? But, the only thing is, its not really your purchase, so the apps purpose, which is to provide market research data, could get messed up. Which seems like a violation of the basic spirit of agreement when using them.

    The receipts can have economic value if you scan them, so I've been wondering about it.

    What do you guy think?
    james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
    202.468.6043

    #2
    Originally posted by james.hendrickson View Post
    So, I'm on a massive receipt scanning kick, its reducing my cost to get groceries, etc. Sometimes I've noticed that at a lot of places, people will leave their paper receipts lying around. For example, at the grocery store or at Subway sandwiches. They just pay for something, then throw the receipts out or leave them on a shelf or something.

    Is it ethical to use someone else's receipts if you're working cash back apps? But, the only thing is, its not really your purchase, so the apps purpose, which is to provide market research data, could get messed up. Which seems like a violation of the basic spirit of agreement when using them.

    The receipts can have economic value if you scan them, so I've been wondering about it.

    What do you guy think?
    I don't stress about scanning a stranger's receipt on the random occasion where I come across one that I'm readily willing to pick up. They want receipts to assess shopping habit patterns. Snapping a stranger's random receipt here or there doesn't seem like an ethical dilemma that I'm going to fret. You're still giving them the information that they want, so I'm not concerned by getting paid/rewarded for providing them with that data.
    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

    Comment


      #3
      It sounds like an abuse of the program/app, probably not intended behavior, and enough people doing it will wreck the program for everyone using it.

      To go really deep....If you were to ask me what's wrong with the world, I'd point to people not being good people, for the sake of doing good, whether there are laws dictating certain behaviors or not. Scanning other people's receipts to game some kind of app falls into that a little bit....taking advantage of something for the sake of making small money, for the fact that there isn't a flashing sign that says "don't do that".

      Comment


        #4
        I think it is unethical.

        When you sign up to use the app, you probably agree (in the long list of terms & conditions which almost no one reads) that you will enter only your own receipts. If you Google, you can probably find the t & c online and skim to see if they do. (Assuming you want to know if you agreed to upload only your own receipts or not).

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          #5
          If you have to ask, then maybe it's not a good practice to get into the habit of.
          Brian

          Comment


            #6
            As I see it, you are performing a task of market research.

            If you were getting payed for the actual purchase (like a rebate) that might be a little more questionable. But then again, assuming the same receipt can not be entered multiple times, I don't see what the problem is.

            If I had a stack of 10 receipts and I scanned them all in, then handed the stack to you and you did the same, I think that would be problematic.

            Comment


              #7
              I gave a good friend who does shopping for others - she's got like an instacart type gig. She routinely scans in the receipts she gets for her business.
              james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
              202.468.6043

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