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Retail Stores are Tracking Mobile Data of Shoppers

Jul 15 2013, 9:40am CDT | by , in News | Misc

Retail Stores are Tracking Mobile Data of Shoppers

The store Nordstrom wanted to track its customers in order to gain further information regarding their shopping habits. However, most shoppers have shown concern at being tracked through Wi-Fi signals. They were nervous upon knowing that they were under surveillance.

The only purpose behind Nordstrom’s efforts at tracking its clientele was to gain useful knowledge. This included the number who visited the store premises and those who came again and again. The company decided to road test this particular technology that enabled it to track customers by hooking on to the Wi-Fi signals emanating from their cells. However, according to the New York Times, when a billboard announcing the intention was put up, customers expressed misgivings regarding the whole affair. Partly due to the complaints Nordstrom was forced to scrap the dubious project. The experiment which never got off the ground was meant to observe various details such as how long customers looked at merchandise and so on and so forth.

The gathering of vital data is not new. Other superstores such as Mothercare and Benetton are looking into this innovative technology too. While strictly for business purposes, the technology still raises fears of privacy invasion. In times like these, when people like Edward Snowden have let the cat out of the bag, confidentiality remains a highly valued commodity. The fact that a person who enters a store is being watched is a bit weird if not downright strange. Some stores have adopted a better strategy. They give coupons via a text message on your mobile the moment you enter the store. Now this is a far healthier and natural attitude than Nordstrom’s method. 

Image Credit: Getty Images

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