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Privacy Wireless Networking

Swarm Mobile's Offer: Free Wi-Fi In Exchange For Some Privacy 121

Posted by timothy
from the tradeoffs-tradeoffs dept.
cagraham writes "Startup Swarm Mobile intends to help physical retailers counter online shopping habits by collecting data on their customer's actions. Swarm's platform integrates with store's Wifi networks in order to monitor what exactly customers are doing while shopping. In exchange for collecting analytics, shoppers get access to free internet. Swarm then send reports to the store owners, detailing how many customers checked prices online, or compared rival products on their phones. Their platform also allows stores to directly send discount codes or coupons to shopper's phones."
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Swarm Mobile's Offer: Free Wi-Fi In Exchange For Some Privacy

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  • by duckintheface (710137) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @02:21PM (#45586345)

    I carry a phone with no contract or data plan. I can text and surf only from wifi.

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @02:23PM (#45586365)

    Every last site on the internet already connects to Facebook and Google and every other "social" service already.

    Privacy extensions like Ghostery and NoScript are your friend.

    I've got Google and Facebook blocked wherever I can. I'm not here to provide them with information about what I do on the internet. Some things are blocked at the firewall, and simply can't be resolved in my house.

    They're not my friend. I'm not losing one second of sleep about being tracked. I went all-in a couple of years ago, and the thought police haven't descended from their black helicopters yet. I'm content to be the product that Google offers it's customers. I get a pretty good return on these services. I'm happy to be able to comment on some forum random forum quickly with my Facebook account. I'm happy to have Google give me a preemptive traffic update because it knows my schedule. I'm pleased that my games keep my scores and friends cross-platform and through device upgrades.

    When my ISP started serving up ads when I mistyped a URL, I even switched to 8.8.8.8 for my DNS.

    Screw it. Google can have my data. I wasn't using it anyway.

  • Re:Tough ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dyingtolive (1393037) <{brad.arnett} {at} {notforhire.org}> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @03:00PM (#45586815)

    So when the sales clerk asks for my zip code or my phone number or anything else they don't legally need, I just look at them and say "nope". If they occasionally insist (because they're idiots who have been coached to say they 'need' it), I will simply walk away from the cash register.

    That's unnecesarily confrontational, means you've lost the time sunk into being in the store to being with, and puts a burden on the poor moron who's just trying to get through another day at their miserable-ass job

    You should just realize that priv^H^H^H^Hdata-analytics is a myth, accept it, and proceed to teach them by polluting their databases with as many fake ZIP codes as you can muster. The liquor store up the street from me thinks they get visitors from Illinois, New York, Flordia, Washington state, and occasionally Alaska. My motto is "Bad data is worse than no data."

    I honestly stopped being that worried about Amazon and Google when I realized that I could make their recommendations reflect things I wouldn't have ever considered buying without actually buying anything I didn't feel like. Just looked at it, actually. Yerp, recommendations include diapers and doublesided tape. I'm single and have no kids (and not incontient), and well, doublesided tape. Hah.

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