questionsare you aware some retailers track your…

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In an update, Nordstrom's advised that as of May 8 they no longer use Euclid's tracking service.

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What? Security cameras are no longer adequate surveillance?

Thanks for the opt-out link

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So all I need to do to be excluded from their tracking database is sign up for their do-not-track database?

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Free WiFi isn't free.
Good to know.

j5 j5
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i find it funny that, on the opt out page, the only people they felt needed text and pictures are the iphone users.

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For every way you find out about being tracked, there are probably about three or four that you don't know about. Welcome to the new age.

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Another case of media misunderstanding technology. Seems pretty innovative to me.

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@sporadic: That is what I was thinking. To expect "privacy" about where you are in someone else's private property is absurd unless you are invisible. And, the outcome of this will only make for a better shopping experience (since it is the store's goal to improve based on what you are doing).

Now, if the store is trying to get personal data from your phone, that would be cause for concern.

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Thank you for sharing this. What a gross invasion of digital privacy.

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@benyust2: and @sporadic. I agree. If a store knows more about what I am looking for, and can make my shopping easier, great. It is my personal info that I worry about. This is the future and my PERSONAL life is not being invaded. If that were the case it would be a whole different ballgame.

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When did the expectation of privacy get extended to other people's property?
Wait, it hasn't?
So this is just outrage about nothing?
Good to know.

Seriously though, if you have a cell phone on you of any kind, it's constantly communicating via RF and it's really not all that hard to track your location using that. You also have on expectation of privacy in public (such as out on the street or in a grocery store) or on someone else's privacy, unless you're in a restroom or changing area. This isn't new.

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Do you know if your wi-fi has to be enabled for them to be able to track you? My phone has wi-fi but usually it is disabled (unless I'm at home, I'll turn it on so the 4G doesn't run down my data plan), so it runs on the 4G network. Just curious

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@dows: It tracks your location via the queries your phone sends out for WiFi service, so yes, disabling WiFi should stop them from being able to do so.
Disabling WiFi also makes location services on the phone less accurate, though, as it uses those same WiFi queries to help triangulate your location.

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@stryker4526: Thanks for the clarification! :)

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@benyust2: Unless I am the one misunderstanding, this seems very similar to sites tracking your online activity. People get worked up over it, but I don't really see the problem. If the goal is to get better at giving the customer what they want, I'm all for it.

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This is one of the things I used to do - consult w/ companies on things like this. It's not just Nordstrom but combine that with Macy's data with Safeway data, etc and they're able to paint a better picture of you individually than you're probably comfortable with. And if it should ever happen, combine that with your Safeway Club card purchases or credit card purchases or your credit file...

That's the privacy concern.

Before, the right to privacy was manageable in that, yes, they could watch you but now they're able to record, aggregate, summarize, analyze, etc all the info about you.

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@mamajamerson: While I do agree that it is good that retailers want to give the customer what they want, How can I truly be sure it is not so they can "over price what the customer really wants"?

In that case, my privacy simply isn't worth it.

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@green2red: That's not what this "tech" does or can do really. What it does is allows them to understand how people walk through their stores, i.e. traffic flow. In the past, a consultant named Paco Underhill ("Why We Buy") set up cameras throughout the stores and he and his associates watched thousands of hours of tapes to understand how people behaved in stores, i.e. the first 5-10' in the store is a decompression zone and no product will sell there.

The stores already know what are big sellers by looking at what sells throughout the day, week, month, etc in their database/data warehouse. WalMart is considered one of the best companies at understanding their customers by collecting tons of data in their data warehouse.

Now if they're able to match how you move throughout the store, how long you spend at a certain spot, what product is there you're looking at, and what you buy, they end up with a pretty good picture.

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I really wish someone would explain to me whats wrong with someone tracking you when your either A. on their property or B. on public property? People were freaking out in town here a few months back because they wanted to put security cameras around the square to deter crime. Mainly rowdy bar fights but a crime is a crime.

Also before anyone gets upset. I'm not complaining or griping about people who think its wrong. It's just I don't get it? If you don't want people to know don't do it in public????

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@dravack: I don't think the tracking is the issue so much as the method. Somehow it feels like a violation to have your personal property exploited.

j5 j5
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@first2summit: Sounds like a fascinating book. Ordered.

@j5: I think you've got a good point there. I'm not even that security conscious, but the method feels a little bit creepy.

@dravack: In terms of the security cameras, the question is what will be done with the footage and how secure it is, at least for me. We can't be on guard always. If I were in a public square and I noticed somebody following me around and staring at me, I'd leave. If I'm videotaped, I may not even know I've got a stalker. I'm a fairly trusted soul, but even so I'd want to know who is surveilling that footage and what will be done with it. Meanwhile, the EFF is more concerned with potential abuses and particularly the impact of linking the systems, the way (for instance) regional fingerprint data has been accumulated by the FBI into IAFIS. They worry that it could be used to build a profile of an individual doing things like attending multiple political rallies. My life would only bore them, I'm afraid.

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@j5: Your property isn't getting exploited at all.
It's YOUR responsibility to know what your devices do. If your phone's WiFi is turned on, it's constantly sending out queries to any access points within range to find out information such as the SSID, security type, etc. to allow you to potentially connect to it and populate its list.
By having your WiFi turned on, you are willingly communicating with other peoples' infrastructure pretty much all the time. How they choose to use the information you are sending them is really up to them.

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@stryker4526: So, if I war drive your house, it's your fault.
Got it.

Vigilance vs. Trust.
More of the former is needed nowadays.

j5 j5
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@stryker4526: My Ipod touch used to have a bug in it. Anytime it came in contact with a wifi network that was unsecured it would connect even if the ipod was off but not completely shut down. It was very annoying and it killed my battery life. I would have hated this tracking with a passion if I had run into it back then and I still think it is a bad idea that will make the customers very unhappy.

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Keep in mind that the way this data is used isn't necessarily to give the customers what they want. Grocery stores are famous for arranging products not for customer convenience, but to cause more impulse purchases (http://tinyurl.com/ch33frz). This technology is exactly the kind of thing that helps them do this with much greater effectiveness.

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@j5: if my WLAN is open and unsecured, sure.