You’re probably either getting increasingly outraged at the ways in which your personal information is being accessed online, or getting slowly used to it. If you’re in the former category, then this news won’t do much to calm you down: retail stores can, and often do, observe their customer’s shopping habits by tracking their customers through their smartphone’s WiFi, according to RT.com.
In a particularly ingenious little feat of privacy invasion, retail stores have figured out how to monitor the length of time consumers spend in different departments and how long it’s been since a customer has visited by tracking their customer’s smartphone identification code. Retailers can create profiles of their customers when said customer logs in to the store’s WiFi or download’s the company’s app. Nordstrom started using this method in October of 2012, though they discontinued it after a Dallas TV station reported on it.
According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, “the company that sold the tracking service, Euclid Analytics, has tracked 50 million devices in 4,000 locations for 100 corporate and other customers.” Opting out is possible, but unsurprisingly complicated, as to do so requires entering your phone’s media access control address on Euclid’s website.
As usual, we here at FlashRouters feel it’s our duty to impress upon you how important it is to maintain as much internet privacy as you can possibly achieve. Check out our recent list of our most popular VPN service provider requests (and WiFi routers) of June 2013, and find out how these networks can help make your online experience secure.