Stores can track where you go, using your phone

Cell Phone (KSN File Photo)
Cell Phone (KSN File Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Should shoppers turn off their smartphones when they hit the mall, or does leaving them on lead to better sales or shorter lines at the cash register?

Retailers are using mobile-based technology to track shoppers’ movements at some malls and stores. The companies collecting the information say it’s anonymous, can’t be traced to a specific person and no one should worry that their privacy is being invaded. But consumer advocates aren’t convinced. It’s spying, they say, and shoppers should be able to choose whether to allow that.

The Federal Trade Commission held a workshop Wednesday on the issue. The FTC says it wants to better understand how companies are using phone-location technology, how robust privacy controls are and whether shoppers are notified in advance. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

blog comments powered by Disqus