Instacart quickly became one of the biggest names in tech, disrupting the entire grocery industry and forever changing how people buy food.
But have you ever considered just how much sensitive information about each of its customers to which Instacart has become privy?
To learn more about what information is shared on Instacart, what information is visible between customer and shopper, and even if Instacart sells user data, keep reading!
However, the company asserts that it does so only with the consent of customers or at their direction.
An example of this might be if you are purchasing alcohol with your order, you have to enter your birthdate at checkout.
The shopper might see this, as well as the store from which you are placing the order.
Of course, most companies hide those actual terms behind links, which they know people are not, for the most part, going to actually read.
But in Instacart’s case, most use of information – so far as I can tell – is fairly innocuous.
That isn’t to say, however, that there isn’t something shady going on behind the scenes that hasn’t been reported on yet.
Do Instacart Shoppers See Your Name?
Instacart shoppers do see your name, but only your first and last initial. Customers can see the same of their shoppers.
Shoppers are the first people customers might think about when it comes to others seeing their information, so it’s fair to wonder what exactly they can see.
Beyond that, however, shoppers do not get a lot of your information, and they certainly aren’t privy to anything highly sensitive.
An example of this includes personal health information (PHI), which is protected by HIPAA, and which would only be seen by trained pharmacy staff.
Can Customers Track You On Instacart?
A vehement commenter on this small Reddit thread insists that customers can track their shoppers’ “every move.”
I’m not so sure this checks out, but I do know that when the delivery is on its way, the customer can track their shopper’s progress toward them.
I think Instacart includes this feature so that customers can prepare for their order to arrive – get home, if they’re away, get animals crated or gated, etc.
It can also help prevent theft, either by the shopper (rare, but it could happen) or by some opportunistic thief.
Can Instacart Report You To The Police?
The full disclosure on their page reads:
We may share your information when we believe that the disclosure is reasonably necessary to (a) comply with applicable laws, regulations, legal process, or requests from law enforcement or regulatory authorities, (b) prevent, detect, or otherwise handle fraud, security, or technical issues, and (c) protect the safety, rights, or property of any person, the public, or Instacart.
If you’re breaking the law and using Instacart to do it, don’t count on them protecting you, not by a longshot.
What Can Instacart Customers See?
Instacart customers can see just about the same amount of information as Instacart shoppers; actually, they see less so.
The only real visible information that customers get to see is the shopper’s first name and last name initial, plus whatever image the shopper has chosen as their avatar.
There is also a chance that the customer could see their shopper’s car, including make, model and license plate number.
Can People See Your Address On Instacart?
If you are ordering delivery on Instacart, then yes, the shopper will see your address.
If that is an issue, you have several options.
First, you can opt for grocery pick-up instead of delivery. Yes, you will have to leave the house (but not your car!), but it’s also the cheaper option.
You could also have the groceries delivered to your place of work, perhaps timing it to right before you have to leave, so they don’t sit in the car for hours.
Does Instacart Sell your Data?
Instacart itself does not make a practice of selling your data (at this point).
However, hacks in the recent past have put reportedly customers’ information up for sale on the dark web.
In 2020, over 270,000 customers’ data was hacked, with names, phone numbers, order histories and the last four digits of credit cards, going for $2 a pop.
Like all major companies in this day and age, Instacart takes the privacy of its customers very seriously, though they do share information where needed.
Unfortunately, if this unsettles you, your only option is not to use ridesharing apps like Instacart, which hangs onto information like customer name, address and credit card numbers.