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Malls Tracking Customers Anonymously Are We on the Slippery Slope Here?

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  • Malls Tracking Customers Anonymously Are We on the Slippery Slope Here?

    Black Friday through New Years day, two malls are going to track you via your cell phones.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/22/tech...iday/index.htm

    If you go to the website and read the sign, no where on it does it say you can opt out by turning off your cell phone. It just says for more information visit the mall office or website.



    Malls track shoppers' cell phones on Black Friday
    By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoneyTech November 22, 2011: 11:48 AM ET

    Through this signage at Promenade Temecula, the mall is notifying shoppers that their phones may be tracked as they move throughout the premises.


    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Attention holiday shoppers: your cell phone may be tracked this year.

    Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two U.S. malls -- Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. -- will track guests' movements by monitoring the signals from their cell phones.


    While the data that's collected is anonymous, it can follow shoppers' paths from store to store.

    The goal is for stores to answer questions like: How many Nordstrom shoppers also stop at Starbucks? How long do most customers linger in Victoria's Secret? Are there unpopular spots in the mall that aren't being visited?

    While U.S. malls have long tracked how crowds move throughout their stores, this is the first time they've used cell phones.

    But obtaining that information comes with privacy concerns.

    The management company of both malls, Forest City Commercial Management, says personal data is not being tracked.

    "We won't be looking at singular shoppers," said Stephanie Shriver-Engdahl, vice president of digital strategy for Forest City. "The system monitors patterns of movement. We can see, like migrating birds, where people are going to."

    Still, the company is preemptively notifying customers by hanging small signs around the shopping centers. Consumers can opt out by turning off their phones.
    Pete Malloy, "The only thing black and white about this job is the car."

  • #2
    I've laughed when people have made comments to the effect that we need to watch out for Big Brother invading our privacy. There's a much greater risk of Big Business invading our lives than Big Government.
    This Space For Rent

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pogue Mahone View Post
      I've laughed when people have made comments to the effect that we need to watch out for Big Brother invading our privacy. There's a much greater risk of Big Business invading our lives than Big Government.
      +1

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      • #4
        If you don't like it don't shop there. Simple as that.

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        • #5
          so, a mall can track a cell phone.......but when i try to subpoena records from apple to locate a stolen one, they say theres no data

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          • #6
            I can opt out by turning off my phone? I don't think so.. I'll opt out by not shopping there
            All posts are my personal opinion and are not necessarily reflective of the views of my department.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dr. Peebody View Post
              so, a mall can track a cell phone.......but when i try to subpoena records from apple to locate a stolen one, they say theres no data
              This does bring up an interesting question..

              How are they allowed to do this?

              I understand how cell phones company, but how does another entity do this? And how could it be accurate enough to tell store by store?

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              • #8
                Hey OneAdam12,

                What does it matter to you as we all know that you are a frequent shopper at the WALLY World

                Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dr. Peebody View Post
                  so, a mall can track a cell phone.......but when i try to subpoena records from apple to locate a stolen one, they say theres no data
                  Used to be able to get the cell tower information as well, but now we have to get the court order in order to retrieve that info.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Taylor13 View Post
                    If you don't like it don't shop there. Simple as that.
                    That ain't the point. Did you read anywhere on the sign where the opt out was to turn it off?
                    No, they tell you to go to the mall office which is usually restricted access or their website for more informaion.

                    Originally posted by M1garand View Post
                    Hey OneAdam12,

                    What does it matter to you as we all know that you are a frequent shopper at the WALLY World
                    Kicking and screaming. I just love standing in line 20 minutes for bread and milk because the self checkouts don't work and they can't afford another cashier to man one of the 20 unoccupied lanes.

                    Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend
                    Back at ya!
                    Pete Malloy, "The only thing black and white about this job is the car."

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