Malls To Track Shoppers' Movements Via Cellphone Signals This Holiday Season

Because you as a shopper are nothing but a lab rat to be tracked, measured, quantified and dissected so that retailers can market to you in a more efficient manner, at least two malls will be using shoppers’ cellphone signals to map out their routes from Sbarro to the Spencer Gifts to Chess King (okay okay… so I haven’t been to the mall in a while).

From Black Friday through New Year’s Day, the Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, VA, will lock onto shoppers’ cellphones and track them, anonymously.

This reportedly the first time that malls will use cellphone signals to trace customers’ routes.

Explains CNN:

The goal is for stores to answer questions like: How many Nordstrom shoppers also stop at Starbucks? How long do most customers linger in Victoria’s Secret? Are there unpopular spots in the mall that aren’t being visited?

“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.”

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.

Because shoppers should have to choose between having their phone on in case of emergency and being treated like guinea pigs with credit cards.

Malls track shoppers’ cellphones on Black Friday [Chicago Breaking Business]