U.S. Malls will Track People’s Cellphones on Black Friday

CNNMoney.com
November 23, 2011

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.

The day Malls began spying on shoppers. Or at least the day they announced it.

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.

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About Luis Miranda
The Real Agenda is an independent publication. It does not take money from Corporations, Foundations or Non-Governmental Organizations. It provides news reports in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese to reach a larger group of readers. Our news are not guided by any ideological, political or religious interest, which allows us to keep our integrity towards the readers.

One Response to U.S. Malls will Track People’s Cellphones on Black Friday

  1. Norman says:

    Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule that there is no persona privacy left in the country available to its citizens. I wouldn’t be surprised if some company came out with a chip implant, whereby everybody has it inserted in a vital spot on the body, allowing control by some unseen human[s] or machine[s] over ones movements. Perhaps it might also be capable of terminating the individuals life too.