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Two U.S. Malls Now Tracking Shoppers Through Their Cell Phones



Two malls in the U.S., both operated by Forest City Commercial Management, have begun to track customers inside shops and stores effective Black Friday. The way the tracking works is through antennas placed around the mall where shoppers’ cell phones are then triangulated, providing retailers with anonymous geographic data.

Tracking systems are already being implemented at Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. Both malls alert customers via small signs that they can opt out of tracking by turning off their cell phones.

Tracking systems have long been implemented in the U.S. through the use of undercover researchers, people counters, and other means, but this is the first time that cellular phone technology is being used. While the data is anonymous, there are some security concerns. However, Forest City says that they aren’t looking at any one particular shopper, but they are trying to determine information on a larger scale. That information may include shopping behaviors to see how many people stop at a particular product display at a Nordstrom and how many people actually purchase that product.

Via: CNN Money



  1. Anonymous

    11/28/2011 at 3:13 am

    Learn from google. You have to give me a cool free service I want before I am ok with you tracking my information, even anonymously. And this anonymous thing, just because you don’t know it is me doesn’t make it not valuable. But by not giving me something in return, aren’t you in a sense stealing value from me? I want to profit off the loss of my privacy.

  2. research papers

    11/28/2011 at 5:37 am

    Interesting post. Thanks. I like Black Friday

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