Shopping Center Tracking System Raises Privacy Concerns

A new technology enables pedestrian behavior and flow to be monitored continuously using mobile phone technology. Its use in US and UK shopping centers has consumer rights activists worried.

"The system means centres can analyse data such as how long visitors stay, where their favourite spots are and their preferred routes as they move around a mall. Shopping centres argue the system benefits both customers and retailers and insist privacy is not compromised because individuals are not identified," writes Steven Morris.

"Under the FootPath scheme a series of monitoring devices are installed throughout a shopping centre. The units pick up signals from a customer's mobile phone and can pinpoint the person's position to within 2m. The data gleaned is fed to a processing centre where it is collected, analysed and fed back."

An earlier CNN article looks at experiments in the US at malls managed by Forest City Commercial Management.

Thanks to Slashdot

Full Story: Shopping centre tracking system condemned by civil rights campaigners


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