Malls To Track Shoppers Cell Phones On Black Friday


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

Throwing oneself in a pool of frenzied people and fighting to purchase consumer products that have been slightly discounted: is there a better way to begin the holiday season? Well this year, malls will monitor and analyze that frenzy as they will track customer’s as they go from store to store using their cell phone signals. Is there an option to opt out? No. Well, yes…leaving the phone in the car. Here’s an article from CNN Money.

Malls track shoppers’ cell phones on Black Friday

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.

The tracking system, called FootPath Technology, works through a series of antennas positioned throughout the shopping center that capture the unique identification number assigned to each phone (similar to a computer’s IP address), and tracks its movement throughout the stores.

The system can’t take photos or collect data on what shoppers have purchased. And it doesn’t collect any personal details associated with the ID, like the user’s name or phone number. That information is fiercely protected by mobile carriers, and often can be legally obtained only through a court order.

“We don’t need to know who it is and we don’t need to know anyone’s cell phone number, nor do we want that,” Shriver-Engdahl said.

Manufactured by a British company, Path Intelligence, this technology has already been used in shopping centers in Europe and Australia. And according to Path Intelligence CEO Sharon Biggar, hardly any shoppers decide to opt out.

“It’s just not invasive of privacy,” she said. “There are no risks to privacy, so I don’t see why anyone would opt out.”

Now, U.S. retailers including JCPenney and Home Depot are also working with Path Intelligence to use their technology, Biggar said.

Home Depot has considered implementing the technology but is not currently using it any stores, a company spokesman said. JCPenney declined to comment on its relationship with the vendor.

Why Apple and Google need to stalk you

Some retail analysts say the new technology is nothing to be worried about. Malls have been tracking shoppers for years through people counters, security cameras, heat maps and even undercover researchers who follow shoppers around.

And some even say websites that track online shoppers are more invasive, recording not only a user’s name and purchases, but then targeting them with ads even after they’ve left a site.

“It’s important for shoppers to realize this sort of data is being collected anyway,” Biggar said.

Whereas a website can track a customer who doesn’t make a purchase, physical stores have been struggling to perfect this kind of research, Biggar said. By combining the data from FootPath with their own sales figures, stores will have better measurements to help them improve the shopping experience.

“We can now say, you had 100 people come to this product, but no one purchased it,” Biggar said. “From there, we can help a retailer narrow down what’s going wrong.”

But some industry analysts worry about the broader implications of this kind of technology.

“Most of this information is harmless and nobody ever does anything nefarious with it,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester Research. “But the reality is, what happens when you start having hackers potentially having access to this information and being able to track your movements?”

Last year, hackers hit AT&T, exposing the unique ID numbers and e-mail addresses of more than 100,000 iPad 3G owners. To make it harder for hackers to get at this information, Path Intelligence scrambles those numbers twice.

“I’m sure as more people get more cell phones, it’s probably inevitable that it will continue as a resource,” Mulpuru said. “But I think the future is going to have to be opt in, not opt out.”

– Source: CNN Money



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55 Comments on "Malls To Track Shoppers Cell Phones On Black Friday"


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4 years 10 months ago

Dude, it's just market research. Plain and simple. I mean I agree with a number of conspiracy theories but honestly. Take a chill pill.

Person 1
4 years 10 months ago

"Name, e-mail, address, telephone number."

just use a fake name


i dont have email address

i dont have a phone

thaz what ido

everything and every
4 years 10 months ago

There are some stores that I love to go to, but they keep asking you too many questions when you go to pay for your item(s) :

Name, e-mail, address, telephone number.

It's an annoyance.

We're stalked all the time, 24/7. In stores, in the Internet, everywhere.

You would literally have to live in a real, actual cave to be able to avoid all this spying and filming and stalking. Wait, no. You would have to migrate to another galaxy far away… it's a mess.

This is nothing new. It's not just a cellphone-tracking-on-black-friday thing.

The elites are probably just doing some practicing of stalking every person on the globe through many different means.

4 years 10 months ago

I told you so.

4 years 10 months ago

this is getting ridiculous really. i went to the states to visit, and they asked every time i went to the store for a cell number or area code. i didnt have to give it up as i live in europe. i am sure there are devil worshipers in the business, and guess what? that's their own damn business. at least people know the devil is alive and well. the gov't will be the gov't. wtf are you all going to do about it besides make ridiculous post after post? causing paranoia and strife among the conspiracy theory loving sheep? go read.

4 years 10 months ago

You're an idiot.

4 years 10 months ago

I just read an article about people getting seizures by watching the latest twilight movie and a doctor said this after reviweing the scene that caused the seizures.

The scene in questions reportedly contains kaleidoscopic flashes of red, black and white.

red black and white? Subliminal messages anyone?

4 years 10 months ago

I think it's subliminal what else would it be this is happening to people without any history of epilepsy.

4 years 10 months ago

MEDICAL explanation: ""It's like a light going off because it hits your brain all at once," Dr Michael G Chez told CBS Sacramento. "The trouble with theatres is that they're so dark, the light flashing in there is more like a strobe light."

And it's only two people out of million.

4 years 10 months ago

This is scary & now people across the country are having seizures while watching the new twilight movie if you don't believe me look it up.

4 years 10 months ago

they've been tracking this information via different methods for years? undercover researchers following shoppers around???? really??? what have they been doing? profiling people from a distance then following them to determine shopping patterns of certain demographics? thats so scary!

4 years 10 months ago

Last December I bought two completely different shoes at Nordstrom, one for myself, plain for work, and another for one of my children. The following week I was on Amazon and those exact two different pairs of shoes appeared on the screen. It was really creepy that Amazon knew what I bought on a Nordstrom card, that they are in cahoots? As though I would buy them again?

Cid Abdullah
4 years 10 months ago

The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better. — George Orwell

Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness. — George Orwell


Rockwell Ft Michael Jackson — Somebody's watching Me.

4 years 10 months ago

The peace they wish for us is enslavement in one form or other. Why take people to camps when you can have them all hooked up to the Net at the same time watching the same shows, wearing the same clothes and using drugs so they can somehow get through another day of consumerist slavery?The enslavement ends when one turns off all electronic devices, even for a few minutes. They are just ramping up the levels of blatancy. It's been 1984 for some time. Why fear them now? God is here now. They are sick, twisted men, but God is available right here– right now.

Lim Lynn
4 years 10 months ago
They Live reminds me of Advertisement and Marketing Strategies set by retailers.

4 years 10 months ago

I totally agree. We have a choice to be free.

4 years 10 months ago

I feel sorry for your children, "anamericanmom"

4 years 10 months ago

this is so creepy UGH like im being stalked all the time!!!!! a huge part of me wishes we could go back to the simple days WITHOUT cell phones WITHOUT internet without being monitored by every single electronic i own and without practically feeling like there are advertisements in my head 24/7. or almost like someone is reading my mind!!!!!!!!!!i want to hide under a rock!!!!

4 years 10 months ago

When i saw this on tv i immediately thought of this site

4 years 10 months ago

…well atleast you can turn your phone off. just turn it back on when you need to use it..then turn it back off. not that hard

4 years 10 months ago


(Sorry for the caps)

SIM cards can be tracked by radio-waves even if they are not powered.

4 years 10 months ago

Hey VC what do you have to say about the phenomenon of christian televangelists, you know the ones that go on TV and start yelling and screaming, about all the religious extremists that are coming out? I'm really interested to know. I guess those people are like a gift to the NWO?

4 years 10 months ago
We were talking about the space between us all And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion Never glimpse the truth, then it's far too late, when they pass away We were talking about the love we all could share When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love With our love, we could save the world, if they only knew Try to realise it's all within yourself No one else can make you change And to see you're really only very small And life flows on within you and without you We were talking about the love that's gone so cold And the people who gain the world and lose their soul They don't know, they can't see, are you one of them? When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find Peace of mind is waiting there And the… Read more »
4 years 10 months ago

The Beatles >> Puppets of the NWO.

4 years 10 months ago

Only Paul was/is a puppet.

4 years 10 months ago

well then please decipher those lyrics and show me how it's part of "their" agenda cuz they're lookin pretty sound to me

Syrus Magistus
4 years 10 months ago

You have to literally pull the battery out of your cell phone, since just turning it off won't do the trick. Blackberries already track your movements perpetually.

4 years 10 months ago

Taking out your battery or trying to power down your phone in any way will NOT work.

Cell phone tracking is done by using radio-waves to track SIM cards, which can be located even if they are not connected to any power source.

My local police force tracks people this way…

4 years 10 months ago

These "smart" phones should be renamed "reckless and unsecure" phones

4 years 10 months ago

Putting into practice the 'big brother' !!

4 years 10 months ago

Its funny how the Illuminati seems to be fulfilling all the biblical prophicies ( found in the original bible). Where living in the last days and nobody seems to care ..

4 years 10 months ago
Again, we are screwed. Just admit it, people. Less than 1% of the entire population even knows, cares, or believes in the truth. Everybody else is very comfortable in their state of collective slavery, watching the football game, shopping at Kohls, going to the movie theater to watch the latest mind-dumbing movie, getting drunk in the club and listening to dark pop music. The powers that be have won. Unless God comes down to save the day, which I doubt, then we are all on the fast track towards 1984, big time. People don't want to wake up. Like they say, you can drag the horse to the water, but you can't make him drink it. I've already come to accept this, and in fact, I'm anticipating the day when everyone will start to cry and we get to say "we told you so." Please don't say it's not too… Read more »
4 years 10 months ago

What is 1984

Lacerta Draconis
4 years 10 months ago


It' Orwell's 1984 – a book (and a movie) about a totalitarian country which is at war with another totalitarian country, and they even have thought-police, which means that they track every people using covert technology. News are biased in favor of the leading elite, people are herded together like animals to work as slaves, no freedom of speech, no freedom of choice, no freedom of love. People are recorded through television, radios and even paintings. Every single second of their lives are monitored, and when they do something "illegal" they are taken to a room by the thought-police where they brainwash them to make them forget everything they knew before.

Its a must-read in these times because it resembles a lot of the things that happen now.

4 years 10 months ago

God will save the day..But all this NWO thing needs to happen, they will bring the fake peace to the earth…"So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

4 years 10 months ago
Mr. Frost, it's called Faith. The only difference is that when you put your faith in Christ, HE backs it up with His power because all that has been said about Christ is true. He is God. If it wasn't so, most Christians would not be Christians till death. None of this is the popular thing to say but I will share it because we are heading towards crazy, dark times. People like to think Born again believers were raised in the church, never drank, did anything bad but most of us lived crazy lives, were anti-christ and anti-God or just didn't give a crap. I was skeptical, didn't believe there was a God but made the decision to put my faith in Christ and ask him to save me from my sins and I have never been the same only and only because Christ is real, God is real… Read more »
Mr Frost
4 years 10 months ago
@JF, how do you know that god is gonna save the day? how do you know that the bible wasn't put together in a way as to influence things into a certain desired outcome. I'm speaking on prophecy mainly and comparing it to say British Israel. The Queen does claim direct lineage to King David making her and all her relatives crypto-jews at best. It seems more and more to me like this whole scenario was constructed as something to keep the uninitiated masses occupied with until they posture themselves properly. Where we have a large majority of people who either throw their hands up in the air waiting on God to come save the day. Even in the end of revelation the best we get is a thousand year "millenium" of peace with whatever government that will be. My money is on this being a British Israel device to… Read more »
4 years 10 months ago

So my mom lives in Richmond, and it surprised me because this actually pertains to me a bit, the Short Pump Town Center, I think, is where she goes a lot, whether just to look or actually buy stuff but what should I tell her about her phone?

4 years 10 months ago

Tell her it's going to be used to collect information for a survey…

4 years 10 months ago

this is getting worse and worse.. i'm just wondering who's behing this, who's the big boss of the illuminati?

4 years 10 months ago

Loyola wasn't a Jew. It is NOT Jews who are ultimately behind it. That is all just a big smokescreen. Those who know eschatology know that the Jews will be heavily persecuted during the Great Tribulationi, and people hopping on the blame-the-Jews bandwagon are setting the stage for this!

4 years 10 months ago
I dont think its jewish people who are orthodox or believe in any form of God, it is secular "jews." More of a bloodline than any type of theology. Look at rothschild and other people who pretty much run all of central banks of nearly every single country in the world, they are from that bloodline. The German Bavarian Jewish Banking cartel are the funding source for the Hessians vs. Colonists, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Russian Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution, WWI and WWII, even Vietnam and what you see going on in the middle east (Libya). And they work for the Royal houses of Europe and the Vatican as well as the Black Nobility of Rome. Not only do they fund the wars, they fund BOTH SIDES of wars! They also own the Federal Reserve Bank with the Rockefellers and the Queen of England and are the ones… Read more »
4 years 10 months ago

The Jesuits – they control the lot of them – period!

4 years 10 months ago

The founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola, was a Crypto-Jew born in Spain to Marrano (Jewish) parents. He was a member of the Jewish Illuminati Order in Spain. He then moved to Rome & founded the Jesuits in 1539. These Jewish-Illuminati-Jesuits also created the first "Holocaust-style" prison camps in Paraguay in 1609 enticing the local Indians into their trap with food. Then they turned 150,000 of these Indians into slave laborers for their own selfish greedy needs.

See the long 1999 article by pastor John Torrell which was recently reposted at the blog of A. True Ott, PhD. Torrell also has a site, eecl… He has been researching the NWO for 39 years. (copy/paste won't work so I could not include direct links, sorry).

4 years 10 months ago

And you would know this because…?

4 years 10 months ago

yeah,about the london olympics..

there is a card game called the illuminati card game or smth,released in 1995.And it contains a card which shows the big ben blowing up and the time at that moment is 11.12 or 12.11..cant recall

Also there are cards about princess Diana,twin towers,pentagon etc

quite amazing,check it out

4 years 10 months ago
God gifted
4 years 10 months ago

Or can you simply turn your phone off while you're shopping? Leaving it at home or in your car is also a pretty good option but nowadays people are just so "plugged in". It is all very Matrix-like. NWO is a state of conformity with individualism being slayed for the sake of all of us they will tell you. True to the fact we get tracked every single day. From redlight cameras, streetlamps that are sophisticated enough to pick up your heat signature, to of course tracking you using a credit card or every time you swipe a card. Even now as I type this somewhere it is being recorded. We are becoming our worst nightmare.

4 years 10 months ago

simply turning your cell phone off wont do,you gotta disconnect battery from your phone. thats the only way.