Nordstrom Decides To Stop Tracking Customers’ Smartphones

A sign posted about the wifi tracking system at a Nordstrom in Dallas. (via CBS 11)

A sign posted about the wifi tracking system at a Nordstrom in Dallas. (via CBS 11)

Earlier this week, we told you how Nordstrom has been testing a smartphone tracking service at 17 of its stores around the country. Almost immediately after the public found out about the tracking system, the department store decided to put an end to it, though it insists the timing is just a coincidence.

Nordstrom had been using a system from Euclid that locks on to a smartphone’s Media Access Control address (which is broadcast whenever your device is looking for a wifi connection) in order to track where customers are shopping, how long they are lingering and where they are simply breezing through. The company maintains that no personally identifying information was obtained from the system and that the data gathered by Euclid is only being used to better improve foot traffic and the overall shopping experience.

Regardless, the day after the tracking system story appeared on CBS 11 in Dallas, Nordstrom announced that the test was over.

“We’d been testing Euclid since September and have said all along this was a test for us,” a company rep told CBS in a statement. “We had been discussing what made sense in terms of concluding the test; after 8 months we’d felt like we had learned a lot and determined that it was the right time to end it.”

Whatever the reason for ending the test, this news will likely put some shoppers at ease, though there are a number of other ways that retailers are tracking and monitoring your shopping behaviors.