Walmart favours ‘reasonable controls’ over personal data use

WASHINGTON: Walmart Inc for the first time revealed the breadth of customer information it collects as it came out in favour of consumers having “reasonable controls” with regard to collection, use and sharing of personal data.
The world’s largest retailer said shoppers should have an opportunity to “reasonably access, correct or delete their data while limiting the sale of their data to third parties and its use in digital advertising,” as it testified at a hearing by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
The hearing, which was also attended by companies like Microsoft, was convened to examine various legislative proposals to protect consumer data privacy.
More than a dozen privacy bills have been introduced in Congress and concerns have mounted over how information is being collected and used especially by big tech companies.
Walmart said in its testimony it supports a comprehensive federal privacy law and is ready to comply with strict new privacy rules California plans to instate on January 1.
Nuala O’Connor, senior vice president and chief counsel of digital citizenship at Walmart, said privacy legislation focused on a particular industry – referring to the US tech sector – must be carefully crafted to avoid unintended effects on retail.
Walmart said it collects myriad different forms of customer data including personal information provided directly by consumers, personal information provided by third parties, purchase history, healthcare data, browsing information, device information and location data. — Reuters