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Malls to Track Shoppers via Cellphones

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.

"We won't be looking at singular shoppers," says the VP of digital strategy for Forest City, the management company for both malls. "The system monitors patterns of movement. We can see, like migrating birds, where people are going to.... We don't need to know who it is and we
don't need to know anyone's cell phone number, nor do we want that."

While the data that's collected is anonymous, it can follow shoppers' paths from store to store. Shoppers will be greeted by signs letting them know about tracking and telling them to turn off their cellphones if they want to opt out.

Expect this shopper data mining to grow in use. So, besides shutting off the phones, what can be done? Some have suggested tiny tinfoil hats for the phone, an iHat. Actually, shielding can be done, either do-it-yourself, or buy an off-the-shelf blocker. But that defeats the signal, and the incoming calls, so, in the end, there's little you can do except turn it off.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/blackfriday/chi-malls-track-shoppers-cell-phones-on-black-friday-20111122,0,2668219.story


Added: Nov-22-2011 Occurred On: Nov-22-2011
By: joe prole
In:
Science and Technology
Tags: Tracking, Shoppers, Cellphone, Minority Report
Location: United States (load item map)
Views: 1778 | Comments: 19 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Comment of user 'Eva_Destruction' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Comment of user 'Eva_Destruction' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Best to turn off the power and/or remove the battery. Get some masking tape to cover the +/- terminals so you can replace the battery with out the phone powering up.

    If you shield the phone instead you will waste battery power as the radio attempts to scan for signals using more power as the radio will not go idle to low power mode.

    Posted Nov-22-2011 By 

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  • The government will soon find a way of using this to up the repression of people. CCTV does not stop crime, yet here in the UK we have more cameras than any other country. Not only can police enter your home without a warrant but so can utility companies, council workers to name just a couple. Even Orwell never imagined it could be this bad.

    Posted Nov-22-2011 By 

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  • greedy weirdos. I need to learn to data mine.

    Posted Nov-22-2011 By 

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  • Why do they want to track people anyway.

    Posted Nov-22-2011 By 

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  • Thats why I do not own a "cellphone" !!

    Posted Nov-22-2011 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Univert' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Comment of user 'GraveMatter-' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @GraveMatter-

      Do the benefits of using a smartphone outweigh the costs? I don't believe they do, yet I use one. We've welcomed Big Brother with open arms.

      Posted Nov-22-2011 By 

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    • Comment of user 'GraveMatter-' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @pachaKamaq yeah me too. as soon as they screw up the net though, no more smart phone. It goes in the trash and back to a pay-as-you-go from the drug store for $30.

      Posted Nov-22-2011 By 

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  • I wouldn't go near Short Pump TC on black Friday. And not because I'm worried about being tracked by my phone.

    Posted Nov-23-2011 By 

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