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Retail Stores Plan Elaborate Ways To Track You

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the just-ask-at-the-casino-what-works dept.

Advertising 195

Velcroman1 writes "Retailers are experimenting with a variety of new ways to track you, so that when you pick up a shirt, you might get a message about the matching shorts. Or pick up golf shoes at a sports store and you see a discount for a new set of clubs. New technologies like magnetic field detection, Bluetooth Low Energy, sonic pulses, and even transmissions from the in-store lights can tell when you enter a store, where you go, and how you shop. Just last year, tracking was only accurate within 100 feet. Starting this year, they can track within a few feet. ByteLight makes the lighting tech, which transmits a unique signal that the camera in your phone can read. The store can then track your location within about 3 feet — and it's already in use at the Museum of Science in Boston."

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195 comments

Does anyone actually... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403017)

...leave Bluetooth turned on? Seems like a pointless way to run your battery down...

Re:Does anyone actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403029)

I'm pretty sure that everyone who uses a Bluetooth headset leaves Bluetooth turned on.

Re:Does anyone actually... (0, Flamebait)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 9 months ago | (#44403109)

Which means, this is just another good reason not to use a Bluetooth headset! Really, I can imagine a headset being of use in, say, a car--where you need to focus on the road/wheel and holding something up to your ear is just dumb (but let's face it--humans won't stop being morons until they're all dead). But outside of a car setting, I really don't see what the point is in having such a system--and even then, what's wrong with speakerphone? In a store, maybe you get some minor convenience being able to look at shit and bullshit at the same time while having two free hands, but in that case why didn't you drag the person on the other end of the phone line in the store with you to begin with? And I'm having a hard time even thinking of a reason that these two uses--car and stores--are valid alternatives to just waiting to call later.

So... save your battery, fuck Bluetooth, and fuck these stores' tracking. With years of fighting the scumbags and assholes in the web/online advertisement industry and more recently the extreme backlash on the U.S. government for their mass surveillance programs, you'd think these dipshits would eventually get the fucking point. But no--they never do, because they will stop at nothing to get even more from you.

Re:Does anyone actually... (2)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#44403245)

Good gawd, Rage Much?

You seriously can't be proposing a speaker phone as a replacement for a bluetooth!??

Why do you think everyone around you needs to hear BOTH sides of your pathetic the conversation about picking up a dozen eggs, and when are you going to clean up your room?

There is nothing wrong with bluetooth, its very handy, you can answer a phone call without taking the phone out of your pocket and exposing it to snatch-and-run artists, or having to do something as douche bag as turning on the speaker phone in public.

And explain how I am going to drag the person on the other end of the phone into the store with me when they are 3 states away, and stuck in their office?

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35oy7g/ [quickmeme.com]

Re:Does anyone actually... (-1, Flamebait)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 9 months ago | (#44403327)

You seriously can't be proposing a speaker phone as a replacement for a bluetooth!??

For a car, damn right, and that's primarily what I meant when talking about speakerphone. Unless you're always driving with a nosey passenger beside you, in which case maybe you don't need a phone after all. Just bullshit with them, it would be safer than worrying about volume levels and buttons and shit when you should be keeping your eyes on the damn road anyway.

Why do you think everyone around you needs to hear BOTH sides of your pathetic the conversation about picking up a dozen eggs, and when are you going to clean up your room?

Again, you took my original intended meaning out of context. I did also mention holding the phone up to your ear... and yeah, I was referring to store use when doing that. And you know, before cell phones ever even existed we got along just fine in stores talking, in person, right in the store. How exactly is speakerphone any different, other than like I said, it would make much more sense to just bring the other person with you. Save your minutes, save your battery, avoid having to use the phone to begin with if it's not even needed in the first place.

And explain how I am going to drag the person on the other end of the phone into the store with me when they are 3 states away, and stuck in their office?

What, do you get groceries for someone who lives three states away, or is just on the job at the time? If the second, simple:
1. Re-schedule it so they can go with you and figure out what you want.
2. Grocery list. How hard is it to get together and decide what you need, write it down (or use some electronic method), and just go on your own?

Man, where would we be without our fucking cell phones?! How did we survive for so long before they were invented?!?

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#44403549)

Studies show that hands-free phones aren't any safer while driving than holding it up to your ear. Everyone assumes the dangers of driving on the phone come from just having one hand, but it's the distraction factor, not the having one hand. When this is brought up, everyone says "then what's the difference between talking to a passenger and a phone?" The answer is "your brain for some reason treats the two different, and the passenger has their own eyes to compensate or add attention to the road."

So your rage against bluetooth while driving should be equally directed at using speakerphone while driving.

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 9 months ago | (#44403641)

So your rage against bluetooth while driving should be equally directed at using speakerphone while driving.

I honestly think using a phone in the car is a very bad idea no matter what, speakerphone or not. But I would think if you just crank the volume and set the phone down with the speaker facing you, there are two less likely things to cause a distraction/accident:

1. You can't drop it, because it's not in your hand, and
2. It won't fall out of your ear leaving you scrambling to catch it like a headset.

No doubt though, I fully agree that talking on a phone while driving is just dumb. I think it's equally dumb to be fiddling with a cigarette getting your drug fix behind the wheel, but I'm always seeing inconsiderate assholes flicking their lit butts out the window as well. The bottom line is, the only thing a person should be doing while behind the wheel is driving and focusing on maneuvering the vehicle... there are no exceptions. Unless it is in park on the side of a road or in a slot in a parking lot.

Re:Does anyone actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403913)

I'm the guy who flicks my cigarette out on your car, knowing that there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

flargleblarg (685368) | about 9 months ago | (#44403897)

I'm extremely skeptical of that. If "distraction" were the case, then it would be just as dangerous (if not more) to talk with a passenger while you drive.

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

Kangburra (911213) | about 9 months ago | (#44404001)

If you are about to hit something a passenger will shut up, or better yet, warn you. The person on the phone will not do either.

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

MindPhlux (304416) | about 9 months ago | (#44403247)

lol, you're letting the terrorists win

I use bluetooth in my car, it connects to my audio system automatically. I also drive a manual, so I couldn't use a phone without it in the car even if I wanted to. I've done it a few times, the results were hilarious, if almost hitting pedestrians on the sidewalk is your version of hilarious.

anyways, the correct response to 'oh no target and walmart are going to be tracking me' is not 'ok well let me infringe on my personal liberties to fight back at the man'.

the correct response is just not to shop at megastores that do things like this. you probably shouldn't have been shopping there to begin with anyways. go find a farmer's market or non-chain drugstore.

Re:Does anyone actually... (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 9 months ago | (#44403579)

I've done it a few times, the results were hilarious, if almost hitting pedestrians on the sidewalk is your version of hilarious.

Maybe it's the reefer, but I laughed for a long time about that. Thank you, sir!

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#44403893)

if almost hitting pedestrians on the sidewalk is your version of hilarious.

If only the cellphone hadn't been distracting you you could have scored enough points to enter the big race.

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#44403265)

I use Bluetooth headphones on the bus all the time - it's a lot more convenient than corded earpieces when the bus is jammed (which it usually is).

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 9 months ago | (#44403349)

Only as long as I'm listening to my headset. I love bluetooth for this, but as soon as I'm not wanting to listen to music, it comes off. Still, I can listen for hours to the music playing on my phone w/my headset.

Re:Does anyone actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403901)

The only people I ever see with those stupid things are low class, ghetto fabulous types.

Re:Does anyone actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403089)

I do, for my Pebble watch. Regardless, many people now carry wifi capable devices, and most will reveal their MAC address if asked nicely.

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

MollyB (162595) | about 9 months ago | (#44403117)

Ahem. Geeks age too, or die trying. Bluetooth is a popular feature in hearing aids, although I don't use 'em yet, but will before 2050.

Re:Does anyone actually... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403259)

You've picked up a box of extra-large condoms -- would you like some grape Robotussin, or perhaps directions to the next KFC?

No, muthafucka, where yo wife live. You in the office, she want dick. With the acceptable fetishism nowadays..chicks with dicks.

No thanks, girls...fuck, when did Slashdot turn into a forum for degenerate slutbag transsexuales?

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 9 months ago | (#44403323)

There was a TV show called Century City [imdb.com] about future lawyers. One of the cases involved a woman who had a dick implant, though still fully functional female. Rather interesting episode, definitely an interesting show. Too bad it got cancelled out so fast (only 9 episodes were filmed).

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 9 months ago | (#44403547)

I'll be 98 in 2050, I'm sure I'll need them. Or maybe not, dead men don't need hearing aids. As to the tracking, as long as it's on their own property, why not? They know what I buy at their store anyway, unless I pay in cash.

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#44403647)

Yes, what is this about cash not being tracked? When are we going to get out of the dead tree age with money and replace it with smart cars, like what is happening with license plates.

Re:Does anyone actually... (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 9 months ago | (#44403781)

I'll be 98 in 2050

And I'll be 93. They won't need any fancy technology to know I'm looking for Depends, Geritol*, and "Get Off My Lawn" signs.

*Do they even make Geritol anymore?

Shopping for clothes . . . (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 9 months ago | (#44403031)

"Are you looking for something in particular, sir . . . ?"

"Yeah, you got any tinfoil clothes . . . ?"

Re:Shopping for clothes . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403537)

When I saw this article my first thought was, "heck, even dumpster diving sounds like a superior, less distasteful shopping exerience, even if the local rats aren't wearing ID badges." I see your into recycling too.

Wonder if they should incorporate a fashion show into Black Hat?

Unlikely (2)

luckytroll (68214) | about 9 months ago | (#44403039)

I find it unlikely that the Salvation army or Value Village would bother with this technology, let alone actually be able to offer clothes that match.

Just sayin....

Re:Unlikely (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403257)

Your profile is going to look strange when salvation army starts selling previously rfid tagged clothing.

Re:Unlikely (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | about 9 months ago | (#44403593)

...let alone actually be able to offer clothes that match.

Clothes that match? I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404005)

What matches dirty jeans and a three wolf moon tshirt?

Going to the leave the phone at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403053)

Shopping will be an event to put on facial makeup. Black lines for beneath the eyes and above the eyebrows (I think a tube of black lipstick will do nicely).

Re:Going to the leave the phone at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403125)

Also some adjustable leg braces to change the way I walk. In the short run you might get a savings but in the longer term the analysis will be used to rob you of your money in many small and imperceptible ways.

Re:Going to the leave the phone at home (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#44403143)

Shopping will be an event to put on facial makeup. Black lines for beneath the eyes and above the eyebrows (I think a tube of black lipstick will do nicely).

Why inconvenience yourself by leaving your phone at home, when you can just avoid those store that use this tech?

If I get a text message when I walk into a store I will never set foot in that store again. There are plenty of on-line
shops that sell the same thing. I don't like busybody sales clerks hovering over my shoulder while I shop and I sure
as hell don't expect to put up with some computer doing the same thing.

Re:Going to the leave the phone at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403223)

I think most stores will be less obvious about this. You will get ads through other venues and in other places. The ads might show up on your phone at another time (while browsing). The phone and other biometrics will be used to tie you into a larger profile that will include other devices and identifiers. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/

Re: Going to the leave the phone at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403283)

Or better yet, just keep it in your pocket

Re: Going to the leave the phone at home (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#44403743)

or leave your phone at home.. it is possible to survive without one for a few hours..

Re:Going to the leave the phone at home (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#44403747)

That only works as long as there are stores that don't do this.. Inevitably this will become cheap enough that every store will have it. what then?

Re:Going to the leave the phone at home (2)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#44403955)

Outlaw the practice as an invasion of privacy or DMCA violation?
Pass opt in laws?
Demand phones that won't reveal any personal information?
Apps that sense attempt and block them, or spoof random mac addresses?
Personal jammers?
Shop online?
Picket the store?

Re:Going to the leave the phone at home (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#44403969)

1. good luck getting laws passed that actually protect citizen rights
2. ditto
3. ditto
4. good luck enforcing this consistently
5. might work.. better off just not carrying a phone, period.
6. that invites its own form of tracking...ala amazon's custom pricing schemes etc.
7. if you're actually successful enough to affect its bottom line, the cops get called and you get labeled a terrorist.

Minority Report (4, Interesting)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 9 months ago | (#44403065)

Sounds like that movie, Minority Report, when Tom Cruise went into that store with his new eyes and the hologram asked him "How are those Dockers working out for you?

Re:Minority Report (1)

mendax (114116) | about 9 months ago | (#44403879)

Any store like this would be one that I would not shop in. A Minority Report-type world makes me want to live off the grid.

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403087)

" which transmits a unique signal that the camera in your phone can read."

Assuming everyone has a smartphone... or bring it with them. I'd basically be invisible to them.

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

Agent ME (1411269) | about 9 months ago | (#44403101)

And assuming that your phone does something with that signal useful to the retail store. I'm at a complete loss at what they're going at there.

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#44403163)

And assuming the phone isn't in your pocket or purse.

OTOH, if I want directions to the shoe department at some big box store, being able to follow an arrow
on my phone is probably more useful than asking some snooty clerk. But I'll be damned if I'm installing
one app per store, so they better get their act together and find one opt-in solution.

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403221)

Or simple signage to the different departments, like there has always been.

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403309)

See, this is just hard for me to even imagine. I've been in some large stores around the country. Directions to the shoe department? Why? Just raise the focus of your eyes, and there are signs in every store that I've ever been in. Why are people always looking down, and never look up? There are aisles and aisle and aisles between me and whichever department I might be looking for. But, if I just look up, I can see the signs. Electronics. Boys. Women. Girls. Jewelry. The signs are there, floating just above everything else except maybe the outdoor sporting stuff like kayaks and bicycles.

and The Sheep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404007)

... Look Up.

http://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Sheep_Look_Up_Large_Print_16pt.html?id=FxZoKxmCoyYC&redir_esc=y

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403689)

If you find it hard to locate whole entire departments in a store, I imagine you would have a hard time using a smartphone. Do you have a Jitterbug? .

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#44403725)

Small town kids are so cute.

Let me know when you save up enough money to visit the big city son, I'll take you to some stores you'll have to dial 911 just to get out of.

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403919)

Here's the thing.. You are talking about something that everyone does, walks around department store. This is not something unique or special, it's not like you are trying to explain to someone what it's like to climb a big mountain, be under the water on a submarine for months or biking across the country. You are talking about finding your way around a store? See all of those other people next to you in that big store? They are doing it too as are tens of thousand other people every day. Please explain to me your experience and how is is different than anyone else's or how it is something I have never experienced before? I'll compare your reply to any number of pizza deliver people and see how it compares.

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#44403447)

And assuming that your phone does something with that signal useful to the retail store. I'm at a complete loss at what they're going at there.

well.. museums seem like the obvious only reasonable use case for the stuff.
extra info, multimedia etc links.

Re:Nothing to see here (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 9 months ago | (#44403263)

And moreover, I assume you must install an app that use that signal. Except if there is a collusion between retail sotres and mobile vendors/operators.

Not allways a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403093)

The Orwellian aspects of such tracking are scary, but there are two sides to the coin.

On a recent shopping expedition I had to go to four stores to find a single pair of shoes in my size. I also had a tough time finding a shirt that was actually in my size. Maybe if they did a little tracking of their customers, they would stock something in the sizes or styles this customer actually wants.

Just sayin'...

Re:Not allways a bad idea (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 9 months ago | (#44403141)

If they can't do their job properly to begin with--stocking the shelves with what people want--then what makes you think that tracking you will change anything? They are supposed to keep track of inventory, and if they just don't carry something, then that kind of is up to the customer to either look elsewhere or ask a manager if they can get it in. Automatic tracking will not solve anything... all it will do is violate your privacy even further. But hey, it's not like they don't have dozens or even hundreds of cameras spread all throughout their perimeter, both inside and out, spying on you. What's a bit more going to hurt, other than your own battery power in this case?

Re:Not allways a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403639)

If you have a larger than 12 or 13 shoe chances are you have had that for a while. You should already know that not many stores stock 13+ and selection about 12 is very limited. I wear a 15 and stopped looking for shoes in stores about 10 years ago when I crossed through 13.
If you have the average shoe which is a 10.5-11 and you could not find them, you went to some crappy stores considering they are loaded up with stock now because of back to school shoppers.

Yet another sensationalist summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403123)

Yay, more hype and wank trying to whip up the /. crowd into a frenzy.

According to TFA (yeah, I read it, suck me) all the things listed here are features of a store-wide network that interfaces with an app on your smartphone. Yes, that's right, you have to manually add an app to your phone for these establishments in order for any of this 'tracking' to work. An app whose primary function is delivering ads and coupons to you.

Seriously, aren't things already bad enough with the whole NSA thing? Is fear mongering and just plain making shit up really necessary?

[captcha: congress]

Re:Yet another sensationalist summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403621)

I'm sure a lot of carriers will bundle this with their phones, in a manner such that you must void your warranty to remove it. Back when I was using Android, my phone came with a Facebook app that I never wanted.

Re:Yet another sensationalist summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403677)

Void the warranty, then. If the phone explodes, it's still worth it.

Re:Yet another sensationalist summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403707)

funny thing is, CNN had a whole 1 hour thing like 2 weeks ago about a company that was using video surveillance to achieve less than "3ft" accuracy, including face-tracking and eye-watching... This is a slashvertisement for a company that I guess is trying to respond and/or capitalize on that previous huge wide-spread news (it was also on NBC, ABC, and in major newspapers).

Re:Yet another sensationalist summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403755)

Is fear mongering and just plain making shit up really necessary?

Yes. Yes, it is.

You see, Americans are stupid creatures, and instinctively will not care about anything until untoward horrors that aren't actually happening are pounded through their fat heads, into their overly thick skulls.

See: Marijuana making white girls go black and never come back, terrorism causing any sort of significant casualties compared to those suffered defending our rights, damage to children from playing violent video games and watching porn, deaths caused by military-style rifles, et cetera.

We're all up in all of that largely imaginary business. Why? Because of conceited gasping, false statistics, and a great deal of hand-wringing.

So, yes.

Yes, we need to make up shit when it comes to our inherent right to privacy.

Because it's the only way to inflame the populace enough to do something.

Re:Yet another sensationalist summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403945)

I bet they would love to track even non-app users but... Looking at what today's "targeted ads" serve up I really question the value of all this tracking. What good is a perfect profile if you don't have the products the buyer would want?

How Annoying (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#44403145)

I resent the necessity to turn off my phone when I enter a store. They are taking what might be a great tool (like product comparisons via barcode and QR code reading) and turning it into a burden and annoyance instead.

If I found out a store used this, I'd go somewhere else. I do, actually, have choices.

Re:How Annoying (3, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#44403249)

Based on what little info is on ByteLight's website - wouldn't you, as a customer, have to be running the store's app on your phone for this tracking to work? If so, just don't run the software.

The other tracking method they listed was wi-fi fingerprinting. Annoying, but not very accurate - and you can completely defeat it just by turning wi-fi off, I assume (something I usually do anyway).

That said, I'd still complain loudly to the management of any store I shop at if I found they were using the technology.

Re:How Annoying (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#44403519)

That sounds reasonable until the company starts paying app developers to sneak the code into their apps as part of the advertising that makes it free. You could be walking through a store and receive what appears to be a text message with the coupons or whatever and not know it was from the store's app doing this.

what some of these free apps require in the form of access is amazing. A flashlight app that wants to read the phone state, contact information and location information is absurd but they are out there. I downloaded a solitaire game and got confused to why it wanted to read my contacts info or protected storage areas. Most people probably don't even bother looking at what the app accesses or has the ability to access when they install them. I have something on my phone (app or setting) that seems to randomly turn the wifi on at times and can't figure out what it is. This is on a non-rooted droid phone too.

Of course this is nothing new. It reminds of the joke about someone walking into a bass pro shop and spending thousands of dollars outfitting himself to go fishing. When someone made a comment about how it was easy to get commission from someone looking to spend money, the sale associate replied he originally came looking for condoms but I said he knew he wasn't going to get laid, might as well just go fishing.

Re:How Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403353)

I resent the necessity to turn off my phone when I enter a store. They are taking what might be a great tool (like product comparisons via barcode and QR code reading) and turning it into a burden and annoyance instead.

And then they complain about people shopping online.

There may be some good ones, but collectively retailers are fucking idiots and complete sleazy leeches.

Re:How Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403411)

Takes a few more seconds to turn-off the phone and put on the tinfoil lined hat and dark shades. Once inside the store walk backwards to screw with the tracking equipment.

I cant wait... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 9 months ago | (#44403187)

Till some intrusive ad scheme like this is manufacturer/carrier baked into phones and difficult or impossible to turn off.

I can imagine shopping and having a paper clip pop up on my shiny new windows phone that states, "it looks like you are trying to copy queer eye for the straight guy. Would you like some help?"

Re:I cant wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403225)

The fucking government is looking into your life on a level that you really can't determine because of how shady they've become and this is what you're calling intrusive? I can't select what stores I shop at. I won't be able to select which prison camp I get sent to when they come to drag me away for being undesirable.

Clippy .... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#44403337)

... to shoplifter: "It appears that you are trying to stuff merchandise into your pants. Would you like me to direct you to the baggy pants section?"

Just stay at home geeks! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403199)

No one wants your smelly neckbeard faggots on the streets anyway.

Re: Just stay at home geeks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403229)

Wow, you sure told us off!

LOL

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403301)

Can't track me if I never go in your store... or any store... fuck 'em.

Re:Well... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#44403569)

Well, eventually your mom will get tired of doing all your shopping and you will have to go to a store sometime.

I suppose you could find a woman to love who will wait on you hand and foot in this regard but don't hold you breath on it. Most mature women will send you to the store so they don't have to go- even when it's for feminine hygiene products that would make you blush if you were caught buying by your friends.

Do not want. (1)

bmk67 (971394) | about 9 months ago | (#44403317)

Do not want your creeping salespeople shadowing me.

Do not want your club card / loyalty program tracking me.

Really do not want your tracking app.

Designed to drive customers *away*, it seems (1)

Nemosoft Unv. (16776) | about 9 months ago | (#44403325)

I have two rules when I go shopping, especially for clothes: I don't want to spend too much time on it, and I don't want to be asked if I can find "it". Yes, thank you, I'll use my eyes and I will ask you if absolutely necessary (and yes, I'm a man). Absolutely the last thing I need is the electronic equivalent of an overly eager employee store, especially since I can't tell it to bugger off.

Granted, not everybody shops like me. But image you are shopping and every 2 minutes an employee pops up next to you, holding up a cardboard with the latest sale, right in front of you. I have never seen that done in a shop, and I think with good reason... Their customers will walk out of the shop quickly.

Re:Designed to drive customers *away*, it seems (1)

Neuronwelder (990842) | about 9 months ago | (#44403613)

I agree. You don't really want people "pouncing" on you when you walk into a store.

Only visible to paired devices (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 9 months ago | (#44403383)

My phone has this setting enabled. How is this little nuisance supposed to work in this case?

Re:Only visible to paired devices (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#44403465)

My phone has this setting enabled. How is this little nuisance supposed to work in this case?

you think visibility means that the app _you_install_ couldn't talk to their bt devices? doing that link is trivial once you have agreed to install the shit.

but isnt /. tracking US ??? 'Ghostery' shows 5 !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403407)

Interesting topic, yes, for a site that's showing at least FIVE /. user tracking processes ..

This is outrageously hypocritical ...

Re:but isnt /. tracking US ??? 'Ghostery' shows 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403463)

Also from what I understand of SAP one of my favorite sponsors here on slashdot. Ever watch the ads for this company? The emphasis is in finding out where people are saying negative things about your product (with the goal of silencing them?)

Re:but isnt /. tracking US ??? 'Ghostery' shows 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403503)

never mind I think that sas

Simple solution (1)

davebarnes (158106) | about 9 months ago | (#44403445)

Don't buy anything.
Visit a "frugal living" website and "tune in and drop out".

Re:Simple solution (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 9 months ago | (#44403649)

Don't buy anything.

Grow your own crops and raise animals? The form of barter called "cash" works just as well if you don't want corporations stalking you.

Not just the phone.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403545)

don't forget facial recognition. And how about those "smart cards". Remember they already track your credit card purchases.
Best to leave your phone in the car, in a tin box, and only pay cash. Oh...yeah...maybe a fake beard (unless you have a real one like any real nerd).
 

Low tech solution... (1)

webdog314 (960286) | about 9 months ago | (#44403599)

Or, they could, you know, go low-tech and just have a sign by the shirts that says, "Matching Shorts - 20% Off". Or even better, put the shorts on the next table.

Want to *really* upsell me? Have a pretty girl at the door hand me a coupon for an extra 10% off any purchase of $25 or more at the register. Good for two days.

Even lower tech solution to increase sales (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 9 months ago | (#44403907)

How about stocking all the sizes? Or maybe go crazy and even ad some sizes based on the new body types that exist in society. You know, tall or far or even tall AND fat people.

And maybe I am insane but how about stocking clothes for the season we are IN? I am male, I buy clothes when I need new ones... well... several months after I need new ones and the concept of shopping a season ahead is both alien and repulsive to me.

Or how about actually putting clothes for men in at least 1% of clothing stores? We are nearly 50% of the population.

Nah lets go high tech and try to guess what a shopper wants instead of selling him what he wants.

Sensationalist Fox News Story (4, Informative)

guttentag (313541) | about 9 months ago | (#44403681)

The summary is incorrect. The story is about retailers tracking customers who are running the retailer's app while shopping in the store so they can suggest related items. The article even leads off with a ridiculous photo of someone holding an iPad mini and looking at a listing for the item on the shelf. When was the last time you saw someone walking around a store with an iPad in their hand?

In theory, if you're downloading the retailer's app and using it in their store on your phone, you are looking for "something extra" from the retailer. What they're talking about here is the app acting as a salesperson, noting where you are in the store and possibly what you might be looking at to suggest items you might want. It's a gimmick, though. The app may know where you are within a few feet, but it doesn't know what item you have in your hand, so it can't properly suggest products based on what you're about to buy while you're still in the store. All it can do is say "I see you're by the polo shirt table... want two of these? We'll give you a coupon for two for $20." This is no more effective than putting a dead tree sign on the table that says "polo shirts: 2 for $20." Dead trees are cheaper, and everyone can see them, resulting in more sales than limiting your promotion to the <1% of customers who are walking through your store running your app and paying attention to it.

The way to make it somewhat more effective would be to tie it into what safeway is doing, where they keep track of everything you buy with your Safeway card and the highest prices you've historically been willing to pay for those items. Then they offer you a discount based on what they know your threshold is... and they offer the person 10 feet away from you a deeper discount on the same item because they see that she only buys the item when it's below a certain price. That systematic price discrimination is the greater concern, but the article doesn't mention that because the author doesn't get it.

Brick and Mortar (1)

ks*nut (985334) | about 9 months ago | (#44403727)

If this is the wave of the future I'm going to be buying a lot more of my stuff online. None of the internet retailers are tracking my purchases, are they?

2nd Phone?? (1)

Neuronwelder (990842) | about 9 months ago | (#44403749)

Call me stupid, but isn't there a way you have a cheap tracphone with no blue tooth in the store as a 2nd phone to carry around in case you need important people to contact you??

Dog bites man (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 9 months ago | (#44403769)

We're no longer the consumers. We're the consumables.

In the marketplace, in the workplace, at home and in public.

McDonalds "tested" a program where they pay their employees with gift cards. The number of internet service providers who do not require access to your data and your eyeballs is shrinking.

And the concentration of the wealth of the world in the hands of a small number of people continues to increase, already well past the point of sustainability.

And people who put up the smallest resistance to the ubiquitous invasion of privacy are considered a threat. We're heading for a bad place.

They will use financial cohersion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403775)

You want to buy that? $12.99. Or $9.99 with app.

And they will do that with everything in the store. Prices will be higher, but if you install their shitty little app, prices will drop back to their regular price.

One store tracking is bad... (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 9 months ago | (#44403783)

One store tracking me is bad. I'll just stop shopping there. It is when they start sharing the data. This is a clear case of where data privacy laws need to be very very clear and strong. You might think "Who cares if a store or two tracked someone" But the moment you buy something with a CC or debit card, then they can go back through all their data and tie your face (or cellphone ID) to your actual person. If they are sharing the data you now have a trail.

The worst would be if the cellphone company just started to sell your location data. This way someone going from car dealership to car dealership but not leaving their name or number could then suddenly start getting calls and emails. Or if you have just walked into your first dealership they could see that you hadn't been to any competitors and might be a complete sucker.

I have long been an advocate that no organization should be allow to share their customer data with any other organization. I even think this should be internal. I don't want the bank calling and trying to sell me products because they see my balance is way up. So even a bank's marketing department should be kept away from my private data.

So stupid.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403825)

And these retail stores wonder why we don't bother to shop in them anymore... Why the internet is beating the shit out of them on all fronts...

they can't figure it out... offer less value for higher prices... the same shit tracking every net store does.. without any sort of lower price. along with dealing with underpaid overworked employees who do not give a fuck because the company treats them like shit too... /facepalm

I have to bring my phone with me??? (2)

khelms (772692) | about 9 months ago | (#44403905)

It's kind of heavy and won't work anyway when it's not plugged into the wall.

Interesting Submitter (5, Interesting)

guttentag (313541) | about 9 months ago | (#44403967)

The submitter, Velcroman1, has submitted hundreds of stories [slashdot.org] since October 2009, all of which link to Foxnews.com, but only five comments in the last two years... just one this year so far.

Even more interesting is that stories submitted by MarkWhittington come up on Velcroman1's slashdot page as if they were Velcroman1's submissions... If you look at MarkWhittington's slashdot page [slashdot.org], all of his submissions link to his own articles or opinion pieces on voices.yahoo.com or examiner.com. ALL of them. And also no comments. MarkWhittington apparently contributes his own content to these sites as a freelancer and submits them to slashdot to drive traffic.

On page 2 [slashdot.org] of Velcroman1's slashdot profile Nerval's Lobster (nkolakowski@slashdotmedia.com, nkolakowski@geek.net) submissions start to show up. We've [slashdot.org] already [slashdot.org] established [slashdot.org] that Nerval's Lobster is Nick Kolakowski, a slashdot employee submitting paid content as user-submitted stories...

It would be interesting to see what percentage of published slashdot stories are genuinely submitted by people who have no financial interest in the submission.
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