Nordstrom No Longer Tracking Customer Phones

HardOCP News

[H] News
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Remember when we told you about Nordstrom tracking its customers' smartphones without their permission while they shopped? Well, after CBS News got involved, the company decided to change its ways. Funny what a little media attention can do. ;)

Nordstrom spokesperson Tara Darrow confirmed the company stopped using sensors the day after CBS 11 aired a story about the practice. After the story, customers contacted the company to ask questions and share feedback, according to Darrow.
 

Phatal

Limp Gawd
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Aug 11, 2004
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" After the story, customers contacted the company to ask questions and share feedback, according to Darrow.'

Yeah, I'm sure that's exactly what the customers calling in where doing - sharing feedback.
Nice try.
 

gunbust3r

Gawd
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Dec 12, 2004
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900
How dare the store track general location on the premises to improve customer experience!

I'm actually surprised the original stories didn't call it phone hacking.
 

az_max

Gawd
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Aug 27, 2004
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651
Who leaves the wifi enabled on their phone when they're not using it? Mine kills the battery within a day if I leave it on.
 

DogChainX

[H]ard|Gawd
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" After the story, customers contacted the company to ask questions and share feedback, according to Darrow.'

Yeah, I'm sure that's exactly what the customers calling in where doing - sharing feedback.
Nice try.

My middle finger is feedback to other drivers... :D
 

melteye

[H]ard|Gawd
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I'm all for privacy but this one is just stupid... I'd rather have them do this to optimize their layout then watch me walk around the store with their eyeballs/cameras.
 

Teenk9

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I'm all for privacy but this one is just stupid... I'd rather have them do this to optimize their layout then watch me walk around the store with their eyeballs/cameras.

Most people would probably be OK with it IF Nordstrom's properly disclosed first that they were doing it.
 

melteye

[H]ard|Gawd
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Most people would probably be OK with it IF Nordstrom's properly disclosed first that they were doing it.

Last time an employee followed me around a store they didn't ask ;-) I'm also pretty damn sure they don't ask when monitoring you via CCTV.
 

Teenk9

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Last time an employee followed me around a store they didn't ask ;-) I'm also pretty damn sure they don't ask when monitoring you via CCTV.

If an employee follows you around, you know you're being tracked. Also, how did you feel about being followed by a store employee? A CCTV cannot track you around the whole store, and you can also see the cameras.
 

melteye

[H]ard|Gawd
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If an employee follows you around, you know you're being tracked. Also, how did you feel about being followed by a store employee? A CCTV cannot track you around the whole store, and you can also see the cameras.

Depends. My first reaction would be annoyance and that they think I'm going to steal something. I hate people staring at me... even they tracked my movement while in their stores without the need to observe by mannerisms I'd be perfectly fine with it.

If they tracked me outside of their store that's a different story. They are doing what almost every single website on the web does, just in a retail store.
 

Ponder

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I actually think it was a great idea. Those who are offended seem to think their phones were hacked, versus them simply tracking a signal they are emitting.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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Doesn't Best Buy employees do this too? Only physically, not with a phone tracker?
 

BDV

[H]ard|Gawd
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Pretty much every major retailer does it or has a EULA that allows it.

Read the EULA or turn off WIFI.
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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I actually think it was a great idea. Those who are offended seem to think their phones were hacked, versus them simply tracking a signal they are emitting.

I feel like Google recently had a bit of a scandal that revolved around this exact same reasoning.

I think the result should be the same - if any entity intends to track or monitor another person in an otherwise public place by electronic means, a sign should be prominetly displayed at entrances to the tracking area stating that electronic tracking is being used. Hell, stores have "CCTV recorded at this location" signs everywhere; they should be required to notify customers of electronic tracking as well.

If an employee is following me around with a clipboard, I can be aware of it. If they are sitting in a surveillance room with no external signs of tracking me, I still deserve to be aware of it, so they should have to notify me.

Electronic tracking is on an entirely different level from person-to-person "following" or monitoring. I feel the same way about the police. Tailing someone in public who has no expectation of privacy is fine. A police officer is actively placing himself in a public location to monitor public activity. Slapping a GPS tracker on my car without a warrant and without my knowledge is an intrusion. No person is solely responsible for following me in public, instead a computer can do it without me ever knowing it (not to mention they're interfering with my private property, but that's not analagous to detecting WiFi signals).
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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Stop buying and using cell phones to make yourself into tagged and tracked human cattle if you're that worried about it.
 

Ponder

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[Tripod]MajorPayne;1039869927 said:
I feel like Google recently had a bit of a scandal that revolved around this exact same reasoning.

I am not sure what data the firm was collecting. They simply knew a person was in department A spent X time. Google did alot more they logged onto networks and ninjaed information. Even their normal goal was unnerving. They wanted to log the location of every wifi network and use it.

I am not against signs being listed, but my point was that phones were not hacked. Zero data was taken from the phone. I think it was a clever idea but should have been noted, but then we would have debates if they signs meaning was clear enough...

Eventually I expect this done by all stores via camera and sensors of various types. Target marketing is the way to reduce costs and get the largest impact. Reminds me of the time a poor father found out his daughter was pregnant via the ads being targeted towards her.
 

Skripka

[H]F Junkie
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Who leaves the wifi enabled on their phone when they're not using it? Mine kills the battery within a day if I leave it on.

I do...then again I don't have a battery vampire of a phone. :cool:
 
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