“Big Brother” Technology Comes to Australia’s Shops

Most shoppers realize that retailers analyze internet traffic to study consumer habits. But free wireless in retail stores, restaurants and hotels could also turn consumer phones into tracking devices. “Retailers and other businesses with high foot traffic - such as pubs, cafes and restaurants - are increasingly offering free access to wi-fi networks and asking consumers to grant access to their digital data in return,” reports Nina Hendy for BBC News. “Retailers are then collecting, collating and analysing data about shoppers' gender, age and browsing habits.” Research suggests that shoppers stay in stores with free wireless for longer periods and this “helps management build a rich customer database for marketing purposes.” Many shoppers do not realize that logging on to free wireless hands over access to their browsing activity and data, suggests one analyst. Stores can sell the data, too. Analysts interviewed by Hendy suggest no service is free or easy. – YaleGlobal

“Big Brother” Technology Comes to Australia's Shops

New technology gives bricks-and-mortar retailers access to more online information about shoppers as they move around - and shoppers may not know
Nina Hendy
Monday, March 23, 2015
Copyright © 2015 BBC.

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