Attention, Shoppers: Store Is Tracking Your Cell

By Jul 15, 2013

Stephanie Clifford (New York Times)

mobile trackingLike dozens of other brick-and-mortar retailers, Nordstrom wanted to learn more about its customers—how many came through the doors, how many were repeat visitors—the kind of information that e-commerce sites like Amazon have in spades. So last fall, the company started testing new technology that allowed it to track customers’ movements by following the Wi-Fi signals from their smartphones. Customers weren’t so happy.

  • Xeoma

    is this legal at all?

  • Paul

    Do you think they weren’t tracking you visually (with less precision) before? The only difference now is that the tracking is automated, not requiring an analyst to watch cameras. Have you ever been to a casino? You can bet they know everything you’ve done since you walked in, BY WATCHING YOU. Every bar manager or bartender (should be) counting drinks for all their patrons so they know who to keep an eye on. And recognizing them when they come back and how often. This tracking has been going on longer than there have been computers to do it. There’s no difference here except the amount of automation. In fact, the human-powered tracking probably knew more about you as an individual than the wi-fi tracking does.

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