The clothing chain Nordstrom is tracking the movements of customers (in some of their stores) via the customers' smart phones. Nordstrom claims this is to serve customers better.
Currently, 17 Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores nationwide are using electronic tracking, reports CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.
According to Nordstrom spokesperson Tara Darrow, the stores are able to collect information when customers' smart phones attempt to connect to the in-store Wi-Fi service.
The sensors can monitor which departments you visit and how much time you spend there, but do not follow your phone from department to department, claims Darrow.
“This is literally measuring a signal. You are not connected to the signal,” says Darrow.
However, connecting a smart phone to the in-store Wi-Fi service would count as connecting to a signal.
Nordstrom posts a sign at the store entrance to alert customers and advise them that they can opt out of the tracking by turning off their phones (which turns off the phone's signal).
Darrow says the “anonymous aggregate reports that give us a better sense of customer foot traffic” and could be used to increase staffing during high-traffic times.
Source: CBS Dallas-Fort Worth