On Thursday commissary shoppers began following a new procedure implemented at checkout and effective that day. Instead of showing their identification cards to cashiers to establish their eligibility to use the facility, ID cards will now be scanned. The implementation is part of an agency-wide rollout to all stores that began Nov. 10.
"Scanning patron IDs will allow us to put a higher level of protection on the commissary benefit by using technology to verify patron eligibility," explained Judy Mendez, Fort Huachuca Commissary store director. "Scanning IDs will also allow us to collect basic demographic information to help us better understand our patrons and their preferences."
The data collected includes ID number, rank, military status, branch of service, age, household size and zip codes of residence and duty station. According to the Defense Commissary Agency, or DeCA, all collected information is secured and safeguarded, and specific personal information about an individual will not be collected.
"The methods, processes and information we'll use will not compromise our customers' privacy -- they can be sure of that," said Joseph Jeu, DeCA CEO and director, in a DeCA press release. "We're putting technology to work to better understand our customers and ensure the commissary benefit continues to remain relevant to them now and in the future."
"Safeguarding our customers' commissary benefit and their privacy is most important to us," Mendez added.
Following this new procedure, DeCA officials see two additional benefits. They hope to use the data to identify shopping needs and preferences of its patrons. The agency will also no longer need to maintain any personal information on customers in its computer systems, such as the system used to write checks.
Fort Huachuca's commissary is located in Building 61610, 2170 Arizona St. For more information about the new procedure or any commissary-related issue, call 533.5540.