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Malls To Track Shoppers Cell Phones On Black Friday

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Malls To Track Shoppers Cell Phones On Black Friday

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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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Adam

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

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

just use a fake name

ha

i dont have email address

i dont have a phone

thaz what ido

everything and every

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.

MissLambert

I told you so.

yawn

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.

RJ

You're an idiot.

shev

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?

Kdahl46

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

Keegan

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.

Kdahl46

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.

survivalist

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!

anamericanmom

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

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

Song

Rockwell Ft Michael Jackson — Somebody's watching Me.

freetoday

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.

anamericanmom

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

X

I feel sorry for your children, "anamericanmom"

Lim Lynn

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNIQ7I-OGf4
They Live reminds me of Advertisement and Marketing Strategies set by retailers.

kels

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!!!!

HellaIsabella

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

wichterich

…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

Josiah

NONONO, YOU CAN"T TURN YOUR PHONE OFF AND ON.

(Sorry for the caps)

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

flower

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?

km

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 time will come when you see we're all one

And life flows on within you and without you

-The Beatles, 1967

Visitor

The Beatles >> Puppets of the NWO.

Ajay

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

anamericanmom

Only Paul was/is a puppet.

Syrus Magistus

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.

Josiah

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…

MrHappy

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

JesusFriend

Putting into practice the 'big brother' !!

DaddysAngel

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 ..

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