Malls tracking shoppers using mobile phones

Big brother just got a bit larger in a couple malls in the US. Two malls operated by Forest City Commercial Management have installed systems from a company called Footpath Technology that will track where a shopper is and the path they take through the mall. The two malls are Promenade Temecula in Southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Virginia.

The tracking tech uses some antennas installed around the mall to triangulate individual users' locations and follow their path around the mall. According to the maker if the tracking system it can't capture the shoppers phone number, data, texts, or any personal details. I'm not sure how much better that will make many privacy conscious shoppers feel.

The malls say the system will only capture anonymous trends. Presumably, they are looking at ways to arrange the mall that will bring more foot traffic to important parts of the mall. The management says that the shopper can opt out of tracking. The opt out method is turning off your phone. I very much doubt in today's connected society people will be willing to turn off their mobile phones.

[via Mobileburn]