With Black Friday coming up and Christmas and New Year’s following up consecutively, it’s not doubt that the end of the year has to be one of the most busiest shopping periods of the year, and with all that shopping taking place, it’s like a gold mine for market researchers. As it turns out two shopping malls in the US will be taking part in a new program where cellphones of their shoppers will be tracked while in the mall.
The two shopping malls are Promenade Temecula in souther California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, VA. Now before you start protesting at this data collection, you should note that no personal information will be recorded. This means that information about your cellphone, such as phone number and its contents will not be recorded. Instead the mall seems to be more interested in where you are going as opposed to who you are.
The goal here it seems is to see how long shoppers stay in one place, or if there is one particular section of the mall that isn’t as popular, or how many Nordstrom customers stop by Starbucks, etc. Tracking of shoppers is definitely not a new practice, but to rely on our cellphones while collecting data digitally seems to be a more efficient method, albeit rather Big Brother-ish.
Small signs like the one pictured above will be placed around the mall to notify shoppers that they are being tracked. What do you guys think? Is this something you would be interested in participating in or do you feel like your privacy has been violated?