Shopper-tracking a growing trend Via Acumor
How much privacy do you expect when looking for a winter coat at your local outlet store? What about when you’re browsing the shops at the nearest indoor mall? Well, you can’t expect much.
New technology is making it ever easier for retailers to snoop on the products you buy and the path you take through a store or mall. A new article by the Wall Street Journal explores how sophisticated retailers are getting in terms of tracking your shopping habits.
The Journal story says that in U.S shopping centers throughout the country, small electronic gadgets — often tucked into areas where shoppers congregate — keep track of shoppers’ cellphones. Other trackers located about the shopping centers will chart shoppers’ movements, giving mall operators and retailers information about how long customers stand in lines and where they usually shop.
A common trend
The Wall Street Journal states that this shopping technology is becoming commonplace. The story cites data from The Future of Privacy Forum, a think tank, saying that about 1,000 retailers have equipped their stores with sensors that monitor the activities of shoppers. The explanation for this snooping? Retailers hope they’ll learn enough about their customers’ shopping habits to gain an edge over their competitors.
Consumers, of course, aren’t happy to hear about this high-tech monitoring. The Wall Street Journal reports on the negative reaction from customers of Nordstrom when they discovered the retailer’s tracking technology. It’s not clear whether or not Nordstrom will continue their tracking program, with a company spokesperson indicating to the Journal that the program was just intended as a trial run. One thing’s certain, however, today’s shoppers shouldn’t expect any kind of privacy when they’re browsing the aisles.
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