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The GEM Debate: Are You Cool With THIS Big Brother Move?


Hmm, not sure how I feel about this one. Someone sent me this story about how malls are using cell phone signals to track customer movements on Black Friday. So far it’s just being done in two malls and there are signs telling customers about it.  But is it just me or is this a little too Big Brother-ish?

Folks behind it, remind us that this is nothing new; malls have been tracking the comings, goings and carrying-ons of customers for years and that we shouldn’t worry because they’re looking at generalities, rather than specifics. But it IS the first time they’ve used cell phone signals to gather that data.

I guess part of it makes sense, like trying to figure out what areas of the mall people don’t like to go to. But do they really need to know how long it takes for someone to head to the bathroom after gulping a large lemonade at Auntie Anne’s? (Okay, that’s my own example). But really why do they need to know anything more than the above example and couldn’t that be accomplished with a spotter?

Okay, it is entirely possible that I’m just acting like a silly old technophobe, which is why I’m going to open this up for debate. Should this bother me or am I just being a paranoid ninny? Does it bother you? Why or why not? Fire away!


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