By Jenny Wilson
Posting in Technology
Two malls in the United States will use a new tracking system to follow shoppers' movements during the holiday season.
Two malls in the United States will use a new tracking system to follow shoppers' movements during this holiday season. This FootPath technology was created by UK company Path Intelligence and will be used to obtain information about which parts of the mall are the most and least popular as well as how long shoppers tend to spend at various stores. According to company CEO Sharon Biggar, the technology lets them tell retailers, "you had 100 people come to this product, but no one purchased it." She says that information can, "help a retailer narrow down what's going wrong."
The technology monitors shopper movement by capturing signals from cell phones via antennae installed throughout the mall. It can't capture personal details stored on the phone, the mobile number itself, or data about what the shoppers' purchase. "It's just not invasive of privacy," Biggar told CNN. Still, those who wish to opt out can do so by turning off their phones. The company will hang signs around the mall informing customers of the tracking system.
At Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va, the technology went into effect on Black Friday and will be used through New Years Eve. Other companies, like JC Penney and Home Depot, are considering implementing it in the future.
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Nov 27, 2011
I was very pleased to learn that both malls have dropped the phone tracking, although at least one is looking into an opt-in version: http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/28/news/economy/malls_track_shoppers_cell_phones/index.htm?hpt=hp_t3
I wouldn't want anyone tracking me or my family, who are these people? I like security and the authority coming to your rescue but do not want any private company tracking me or using that information. My life isn't that exciting but this is creepy indeed.
You're under constant video surveillance whenever you step into a mall. There's nothing to prevent connection between the security cams for individuals stores & the cameras for the mall itself - in fact, there's good reasons for them to share a single system. Neither is there anything to prevent the use of security cams for other purposes. Now they add this phone tracking. I'm no privacy alarmist & I rarely shop at malls, but the possibilities are intimidating. While the left & the right scream at delusions of secret government conspiracies, the corporations quietly do whatever they want.
They have to track the cell phone signal / phone number / SIM card - which means of course it tracks the number since it they are tied together - then they would have to discard the BOTH pieces of data and assign a random tracking to to ID that phone - which of course they would have to KNOW to track back to the same SIM / phone in order to avoid duplicates - which means of course they still have to track those numbers in order to actually track the phone. They may not KNOW the name of the owner - but they WILL have to know the SIM / Phone number since the whole cell system has to know where that phone is at all times when it is turned on and they are just using local receivers to track the phone more precisely within the mall. Since all this data is kept and analyzed then of course it is also subject to a court order to give exact detailed information to the government / police if they ask for it given the above info on how cell tracking has to work.
this sounds horrible!! Even though they say it doesn't track the number itself or personal data NOW, I sure see them doing so in the future...........