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Civil rights campaigners condemn tracking of shoppers

UK: Civil rights campaigners spoke out against a technology, ‘FootPath’, used by several shopping centres in the UK to track consumers using their mobile signals. The shopping centres claimed that the technology helped them in providing better services to consumers and retailers without compromising privacy. It allowed them to know how are people spending time in a shopping centre, which spots they visit the most and even the route they take while walking around in a shopping centre.

‘FootPath’ has been developed by Hampshire-based Path Intelligence. It uses several trackers being installed in locations across the shopping centre and is capable of tracking consumers’ position to up to 2 meters.

Several consumer and civil rights groups, including Big Brother Watch, claimed that consumers must be given a choice on whether they want their movement tracked or not. The fact that the technology keeps the consumers’ anonymous has been appreciated but several organisations claim that is wrong to assume that shopping centres have a right to track the movement of the consumers.

Source: The Guardian