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Retail Stores Track Their Customers Through Cell Phone Wi-Fi Signals

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We all know being able to keep our privacy no matter where we go in the world is important to most people, with some being a little more extreme about their privacy rights than others. But if you’ve ever walked inside of a retail store, your privacy rights may have already been challenged as The New York Times recently reported on a technology a number of brick & mortar stores have used to track its customers.

A number of retailers have launched a tool that helps track its customers by following Wi-Fi signals from their customers’ smartphones. The result of this tracking gives the retailer information regarding the customer’s sex, time spent in the store and how long they take browsing before they purchase something.

For years, online retailers have used cookies to track its website visitors, which makes this technology used in brick & mortar retailers no different from the experience you’d get visiting online retailers such as Amazon. Since there’s no way physical retailers can’t learn about their customers outside of asking them personal information as soon as they walk into a store, we could see the necessity behind being able to track some simple information regarding its customers as long as what they’re tracking doesn’t get too personal.

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