NEWS18 February 2014

Website to let shoppers opt out of location tracking

Data analytics News North America

US — The Future of Privacy Forum has launched a website to allow consumers to opt-out of being tracked by retail analytics companies.


So far, 11 firms – including Aislelabs, Brickstream, Euclid and Path Intelligence – have agreed to honour opt-out requests made via the Smart Store Privacy website.

The site lets users input their smartphone’s MAC address to prevent participating companies from tracking their movements in retail locations.

MAC addresses identify individual devices, and it is this identifier that retail analytics companies use to track shopper movements within stores.

The launch of the opt-out website follows the October publication of the Future of Privacy Forum’s Mobile Location Analytics (MLA) Code of Conduct. A central tenet of the code is that people are notified when location tracking takes place and are given the information they need to opt out.

According to the Smart Store Privacy FAQ: “When you opt out of mobile location tracking, companies that have signed on to the MLA Code of Conduct will no longer associate information about your presence at a venue with a MAC address. These companies will use your MAC address only to maintain the device’s opt-out status.
Keep in mind that you can also avoid having your MAC address collected by turning your WiFi or Bluetooth signal off before you enter stores that use MLA technology.”


1 Comment

11 years ago

I certainly hope that they have a publicly available searchable list of sites that utilise and adhere to the consumers wishes. As a supplementary idea what if the app displayed who WAS tracking them when they are being tracked in retail locations - a Name and Shame tactic.

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