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Many Stores Tracking Shoppers This Holiday Season

BEHAVIORAL TARGETING—U.S.

December 9, 2013

U.S. retailers are putting small tracking devices to work monitoring shoppers and their cellphones, to “tally how long people wait in line and where they shop,” The Wall Street Journal reports. The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) has estimated “about 1,000 retailers, from tiny boutiques to Macy's Inc., have outfitted their aisles with sensors to monitor shoppers' paths,” the report states. While FPF has asked retailers to notify shoppers they are using such technology—and eight makers of tracking devices asked their clients to post such disclosures, the report notes, “the idea went nowhere with retailers.” Other retailers, meanwhile, have cited privacy concerns as their reason for holding off on using tracking technology, and some customers have complained about such practices as stores using WiFi signals to track customers through their cellphones. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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