The Age newspaper has secretly recorded the personal details of tens of thousands of Victorians â€“ including credit card numbers and financial information â€“ in a database being accessed by an unlimited number of staff at their expensive new HQ on Spencer Street.
In a shocking insight into personal profiling by the left-wing journal, VEXNEWS has gained access to letters sent by The Age to existing subscribers of The Age.
It is understood competitor newspapers might have similar databases capable of profiling readers, including containing their credit card information, sorting by postcode and suburb representing a potentially serious privacy breach.
In one letter â€“ obtained by the famed VEXNEWS Investigations Unit â€“ bearing The Ageâ€™s letterhead and what appears to be a mocked-up signature of a Kat Norlyng described ominously as the Subscriber Services Manager, the newspaper lulls the subscriber with an expression of â€œhope (that) this has been a happy and successful year for you.â€
Revealing a highly cynical operation underlying The Ageâ€™s poll-driven editorial approach, The Age in the letter dated 15 November this year says they have â€œimplemented exciting product developments this year in response to your feedback.â€
It is noted the Liberal party uses a similar database system of attending to constituent inquiries called Feedback. It is unknown whether the Ageâ€™s Feedback is the same system as the Liberal partyâ€™s Feedback.
The letter â€“ riddled with barcodes that contain secret information used by Australia Post and other authorities â€“ then goes on to induce the dwindling number of subscribers to keep paying for a product increasingly being given away at various cultural venues and to university students.
VEXNEWS spoke â€“ on condition of anonymity â€“ with one subscriber who worried about the barcodes on the letter:
â€œIâ€™m not sure what they mean,â€ he said â€œitâ€™s a bit spooky that theyâ€™d put two lots of barcodes on one letter that ostensibly wished me a â€˜Merry Christmasâ€™. I suspect they have found out I am a Christian and I wonder how they did this. Surely the Age would send secular seasonâ€™s greetings to their many atheist readers.â€
Some â€“ in Christian circles â€“ have feared that barcodes of this kind are potentially linked to evil-doing of a kind that many have previously considered to be beyond The Ageâ€™s current editor-in-chief and redundancy facilitator Paul Ramadge.
In other frightening developments, VEXNEWS can reveal, not for the first time, that The Age implants tracking â€˜cookiesâ€™ in its website theage.com.au that enable Age senior managers to track the viewing habits of its users including whether users have jumped off from one of sacked columnist Catherine Devenyâ€™s old columns to, say, a website about suicide methods.