Coupons tell retailers what you've been searching for. Do you care?


Cash-strapped consumers are increasingly turning to coupons to help them afford everyday items -- and retailers are meeting that demand by issuing more of them and making them easier to access through the web or on a cell phone.

But the coupons that some retailers are issuing these days aren't your average Sunday morning newspaper variety. Using a special barcode technology, these coupons can gather a shocking amount of intelligence on you -- from where you shop to how you browse the web.

The New York Times reports that these digital coupons can tell retailers:

  • The search terms you used to find the coupon

  • Your Facebook page information

  • The website you printed the coupon from

  • And other information that can be used to identify you