|Loveland's Independent News Source
|City To Begin Tracking You
Via Your Mobile Phone
reprinted from Federal Trade Commission...
in Retail Tracking
Last week, the FTC announced a proposed
settlement with Nomi Technologies, a retail
tracking firm that monitors consumers’
movements through stores, for failing to adhere
to their opt-out promises.
Nomi's Listen Service tracks consumers by
monitoring the location of their devices as they
move about. The approach does not identify an
individual by name but instead monitors unique
wireless identifiers emitted by the smartphones,
wearables, and other wireless accessories that
The obscure nature of retail tracking technology
has been somewhat controversial. On a number
of occasions, retailers such as Nordstrom and
Philz Coffee and cities, such as the City of
London, have discontinued its use once their
consumers were made aware of the practice and
expressed privacy concerns.
For context of consumer concern over this
practice, a recent OpinionLab survey of 1,000
consumers indicated that, "8 out of 10 shoppers
do not want stores to track their movements via
smartphone" and "nearly half (43%) of shoppers
are less likely to shop at a favorite retailer if the
brand implements a tracking program."
The privacy issues are further exacerbated by
the fact that most consumers are not aware that
their device information may be captured as
they walk by a store or visit an airport.
In light of the Commission’s proposed settlement
with Nomi and the ongoing public debate, I
thought it would be worthwhile to describe how
different retail tracking technologies work, and in
my opinion, the specific privacy trade-offs of
each approach. My predecessor, Latanya
Sweeney, has also blogged about this topic and
the FTC held a seminar last spring, where I
presented an overview on how some of this
Retail tracking generally works by monitoring
individual's movements in or near locations of
interest. The specific mechanisms can vary but
often involve recording signals emanated by the
individual or their devices as they move about.
read entire article on FTC.GOV website