Spread the love! TechSpot Tech Gift Shortlist 2017

US malls to track shoppers with their cell phone signals

By Matthew ¬∑ 13 replies
Nov 23, 2011
Post New Reply
  1. You might want to leave your cell phone at home this holiday shopping season if you'll be visiting one of two US malls that are implementing tracking technology. The Promenade…

    Read the whole story
  2. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,362   +276

    Il disable my Phone, BOOM! Or better yet, block the Shopping malls?
  3. Mudvayne819

    Mudvayne819 TS Enthusiast Posts: 42

    we are about to enter an age where when you enter a shop it greet you buy your name, just like in movies, the problems, is how to regulate that, or implement something really deep that is used around the globe.
  4. tin foil hats now on sale! only $10!!!

    why do you care about the system seeing you? they don't track YOU, they track a pattern... people have to realize no one gives a **** about WHO you are..
  5. Malls are full of cameras anyways which can see everything you do, I don't see how this is any different. It just makes it easier for them see patterns and do research.
  6. I don't know .. without sounds it is of not good; should also register sounds otherwise they could loose a important tracking variable: sound of I after some been intake =))
  7. How do you know they dont have personal identifiers? Your comment goes along with those that say "If you dont have something to hide who cares?" Really? It is a violation of your 4th amendment! How would you feel if they were tracking your bedroom activities? Stand up for your rights or lose them forever! I wish I lived close to this mall. I would be standing at the door informing people.
  8. I wouldn't care as I have NOTHING TO HIDE... (i.e. no one wants to have sex with me)

  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,856   +901

    FootPath tracking; kind of sounds like we're being stalked doesn't it?
    With all the hassle we contend with on our PC browser "tracking cookies", virus' and
    ads which are tailored to our surfing behavior, it is natural to be suspicious of anything that smacks of tracking.

    I think we need to get a grip on some realities of the high tech experience - -
    for every benefit we derive from a high tech device, there is an associated cost.
    This means what we once thought of as perfect anonymity and privacy has taken a
    significant hit. We have multiple locators today;
    the tcp/ip address (and the associated MAC code) assigned by our choice of ISP,
    that email address we use,
    the cell phone number (and more to the point of FootPath tracking) and its IMEI code) and
    that GPS service which may be on our mobile device(s).

    Consider existing tracking we tolerate already;
    * The cell phone IMEI code is broadcast periodically to locate the cell towers which are in range of our current location.
    * That GPS service (for iPhone users) records the longitude and latitude where ever we take a picture.
    * How about all those roadway cameras that watch you as you drive about town?

    For FootPath to work at all, it requires triangulation (at least two or more RDF sensors) and within a shopping mall, the range would be necessarily short. Move to the parking lot and you become "invisible". There's no personal data access, just the fact that the cell phone attempts to locate cell towers is all that is necessary.

    Privacy is (or has become) much like physical security; the only way to get it is to bar the doors and windows and never venture outside.
    True privacy now requires we abandon all high tech devices and go back to carrier pigeons and horse drawn carriages.

    Personally, I'm more sensitive on the iPhone/GPS tracking of my pictures.
    The grandkids just don't need the hassle that could invoke!
  10. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,098   +868

    Now that is something I rarely read on a tech website :p
  11. SumthinSacred

    SumthinSacred TS Rookie

    What scares me about this is what could be done with it in the wrong hands. Malls using that info to try and get more money out of you? I'm okay with. But some other possibilities I'd rather not think of them to be honest.
  12. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,245   +414

    Very good question what happens, when people start hacking the mall systems??

    Because we all know they will have this hooked up to a router somewhere with WEP.
  13. I do have things to hide. Why? Well, it's not because it's illegal, no, but rather, I don't want everybody and anybody to know about the things that I do because it would probably make me feel uncomfortable. For some people it may be a fear of judgement. For some people it's a lack of privacy that may make them feel "naked" to everybody and I don't know anybody that wants to feel that way.

    Do you take a crap with the door wide open? Probably not.
    Do you like having people watch you while you sleep? Probably not.
    Would you enjoy people staring at you while you stand naked? Probably not.

    There is also other reasons for why people may be sensitive about privacy. Someone who had their privacy violated in traumatizing ways as a child may be more particular or sensitive about their privacy as an adult.

    Try to think outside the box.
  14. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,856   +901

    [update] plans aborted

    Two malls are axing their plans to track shoppers' cell phones, after a U.S. senator raised privacy concerns over the weekend.

    see the story for details

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...