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Opinion: Brick-and-Mortars’ Surveillance Outdoes Online Tracking

CONSUMER PRIVACY—U.S.

April 3, 2013

MediaPost’s Steven Smith points to a recent article in Consumer Reports on “How Stores Spy on You” as evidence that the uptick in surveillance at brick-and-mortar stores may mean consumers “forget altogether the relatively tame uses of data by the online advertising ecosystem.” Consumer Reports discusses the devices retailers are placing around store shelves and via digital signs to gage consumer preferences. Smith says such a report is “likely to take some of the heat off digital marketing” as those practices make anonymous cookies placed to track users online seem “trivial.”  Meanwhile, The New York Times reports on retailers’ requests for consumer ZIP codes during transactions and the uses of such data.
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