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Shopping Center Tracking System Condemned by Civil Rights Campaigners 154

hypnosec writes "Civil rights campaigners have spoken out against a technology used by several shopping centers in the UK to track consumers using their mobile signals. The shopping centers claim that the technology helps them provide better services to consumers and retailers without compromising privacy. The system, called the Footpath, allows them to know how people are spending time in a shopping center, which spots they visit the most and even the route they take while walking around. Several consumer and civil rights groups, including Big Brother Watch, say consumers must be given a choice on whether they want their movement tracked or not." We covered a similar tracking system here in the U.S. last month.
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Shopping Center Tracking System Condemned by Civil Rights Campaigners

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  • by Dexter Herbivore ( 1322345 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:12AM (#38607514) Journal
    There's obvious privacy concerns around this software but if there's no identifying information stored then surely that would eliminate the concerns?
    • Re:Privacy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:15AM (#38607528)

      There will be identifying information stored. Never believe otherwise.

      • Re:Privacy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 06, 2012 @06:41AM (#38608032)

        When the information is so easily datamined and you have no idea who has an IMSI catcher or signal triangulation or whatnot, how can you even have this illusion of privacy? You will be tracked. The shop owners will never tell you.

        • I imagine all the thousands of shop owners operating in shopping centres across the uk will attend their annual "don't tell anyone we're tracking them" secret underground rally, where possible leaks will be identified and silenced...permanently.
      • Re:Privacy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by spacefight ( 577141 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @07:30AM (#38608216)
        Exactly my words. If they can pinpoint and track you through the stores over their microcells, bluetooth or maybe even WLAN (if available), then they for sure will be able to pinpoint you down once you stop at the cashier at store X and link your anonymous avatar/id to your credit card and bamm, no longer anonymous. Then they'll see what you purchased. Then they sort out what you'll buy next or likely buy next and and and.... There is big money in this. Don't use your credit card and/or switch of the cell phone if you don't wanna be tracked. Better work against it.
        • Re:Privacy (Score:5, Funny)

          by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @09:30AM (#38608702)

          Way ahead of you. I go in and buy doggy treats and condoms. Datamine THIS!

          • by mysidia ( 191772 ) *

            Way ahead of you. I'll go in and buy doggy treats and condoms. Datamine THIS!

            Way ahead of you, I linger in front of the doggie treats, then go find the condoms, and linger in that area.

            I go towards the exit, move my cell phone to a RF proof bag or shut it off.

            Then I go to the porn section, grab something, go to the register and check out, paying cash for it.

            Then I go back to where I blocked out /disabled my cell phone, re-enable/re-activate it, and leave.

            So there... the tracking will suggest that

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Why should we give up useful technology for privacy? Write to your MP and MEP (free via They Work For You online) and complain about this. Do it now, don't accept this gross violation.

        • and people thought I was paranoid for using cash for all my purchases... anyway... next thing to do is get an RFID scanner and killer...
        • If they can pinpoint and track you through the stores over their microcells, bluetooth or maybe even WLAN (if available)

          I suspect that tracking customers through a shopping center using their mobile phones would be pretty crude. If the shopping center was one big anechoic chamber then radio signals could be triangulated but in practice I would expect multipath to mean that the best you can do is to figure out which receiver they are probablly closest to and maybe get a very rough idea of their distance from it. I highly doubt they could distinguish who is at which till in a busy store with any reasonable degree of reliabilit

    • Re:Privacy (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nibbler(C) ( 574581 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:58AM (#38607698)
      Well, some of technologies are based on BlueTooth, which gives the MAC-48 address. It is unique, and with proper datamining could be identified if you visit enough stores and use credit card. I think the granularity for locating is around 15 feet radius.
    • Depending on the exact wording of the telecom laws in the UK this may be illegal, they are listing in on phone conversations even if it is just to get the phone id number.
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      We have no reason to believe that no personally identifiable information is stored. We know it can be captured.

  • Incentives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlackusDiamondus ( 945259 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:12AM (#38607522) Homepage
    There's an easy way that they could cajole most people into being tracked, and that's to give them "points" which they can spend on good & services depending on the time spent in the shopping centre, etc. That way, both parties get what they want and Big Brother is happy again as Joe Consumer continues on in blissful ignorance.
    • Re:Incentives (Score:4, Insightful)

      by game kid ( 805301 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:56AM (#38607680) Homepage

      Even simpler, just make them behave like price-reducing, habit-tracking "club cards", except you don't even need to take them out or fill any name-and-address forms to get'em. "1 raisin cereal, $5.00, just $3.99 with your smartphone! No club cards to fumble with--just bring your phone in your pocket and you provide valuable marketing inf^W^W^W^Wsave!"

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Which is why we need to ban it. "You will lose out on these offers!!1!" the supermarkets will scream but actually they will just find other non-invasive ways of giving them to us because there is a price war going on. We need new consumer laws now.

  • by ga53n ( 122179 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:16AM (#38607538) Homepage

    I think this will be in violation of

    Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data

    especially Article 7

    but apparently nobody cares about what is legal anyway

    further reading to be found here:!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=31995L0046 []

    • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Friday January 06, 2012 @05:19AM (#38607770) Journal
      That's cute. You think they care about laws. How quaint.
      • He must be not American
      • by 1s44c ( 552956 )

        That's cute. You think they care about laws. How quaint.

        No he doesn't. You seem to have missed the bit where he said 'but apparently nobody cares about what is legal anyway'.

    • by shilly ( 142940 )

      Well, nobody except the company in question, which has said it has checked out the legality of what it is doing very thoroughly with the Information Commissioner. Apart from that minor point, you're absolutely spot on.

    • by DaveGod ( 703167 )

      If the tracking data does not allow for identification of the individual then it is not personal data and the Directive does not apply.

      (a) 'personal data' shall mean any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject'); an identifiable person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity;

      The UK Information Commissioner provides a step-by-step quick reference [] [PDF] appears to confirm anonymous phone signals are not "personal data".

      • by 1s44c ( 552956 )

        If the tracking data does not allow for identification of the individual then it is not personal data and the Directive does not apply.

        If they track your location, have records of credit/store/bank/loyalty cards used, and video recordings then their system allows identification of most people.

        Of course they will lie and say it's impossible to correlate the data.

      • by Twanfox ( 185252 )

        Most cellular phones and other wireless devices contain some equivalent form of a 'hardware ID'. MAC address, ESN, SID or MIN all help identify wireless devices to their respective networks. These numbers don't usually change each time you go into an area, and as such can be used to remember you from a previous encounter. Aside from missing one link (a given owner of a particular 'hardware ID'), I don't see how they're particularly anonymous. Since it's often not necessary to know your name, helpful though

    • Laws, like taxes, are for the little people.

  • Conflicted Issue (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xanny ( 2500844 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:18AM (#38607544)

    When you enter any private establishment, you forfeit any right to having your location at any time unknown or unrecorded. It becomes the individuals responsibility to inquire what information about them is being recorded and to chose to continue staying wherever they are or to leave, but when you enter you enter a contract with the owner of the establishment about your presence there.

    In store cameras have never been complained about. It might be a breach of privacy to take advantage of radio signals from cell phones, since you never gave the store permission to use the signals your own device generates, but that is a matter of popular opinion - does the store have a right to record or use signals produced by their customers for their own purposes?

    In general that is a no, so in that regard I side with the consumer. In the end, it is an argument of privacy in private - inside stores and other establishments you are not in public, so public law need not apply to you. The question is what can the owner of a private place you inhabit at any time do to you or involving you. I say monitoring location is not a problem - recording the radio waves generated by cell phones is kind of a problem.

    • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:31AM (#38607586) Journal

      In Holland at least every single citizen is free tor receive any radio signal. If you transmit a signal, I am free to pick it up. There are no limits to this, it is perfectly legal for a citizen to pick up military or police traffic if they want. Decrypting it is another matter of course.

      So, since these shoppers are transmitting radio signals they have given explicit permission for anyone else to receive those signals and do whatever they want with it. There is no privacy because the moment you started broadcasting you gave everyone permission to use that signal. Not my fault that signal is coming out of your pants.

      To suddenly make it illegal to track a radio signal just because it is a phone and not a "proper" radio signal would require massive changes in the law. What next, I can't aim my attena at the TV broadcasting tower because that is invading its privacy?

      So your claim that recording the radio signals is wrong is absolute and totally falls. This should be obvious to anybody with a brain, how can it possible be illegal to capture something passing through my person and property? By my very existence I am capturing radio waves all the time with my body and all my property. What next? You want to ban ordinary radio's from receiving certain bands on the FM spectrum? Make it illegal for my garage opener to respond to your clicker? How about the light from your car charging the solar cells in my garden?

      If you don't want other people receiving and processing your radio signals, then you shouldn't be broadcasting them.

      Want privacy? Turn your personal tracker off. There is an app for that.

      • by JasterBobaMereel ( 1102861 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @05:03AM (#38607718)

        Capturing and recording radio signals is fine, analysing them and extracting identifying information is another matter ...

        that requires decryption, and could be considered hacking
        and requires personal info to be stored which involves data protection

        If they gain access to any personal information using this then they are almost certainly breaking data protection laws, this is why they keep stressing the "aggregated" but to track you need to identify individuals ....

        • by Hatta ( 162192 )

          that requires decryption, and could be considered hacking

          Decryption is math, which is a fundamental right.

          and requires personal info to be stored which involves data protection

          Data protection laws violate free speech, which is another fundamental right.

        • You identifying information is never encrypted unless you are running some sort of TOR setup.

          This falls under legal unencrypted signal capture. If you consider DirectTV which is encrypted, but you can't encrypt the location of the satellite. This means all manners of persons and objects pick up its signal as a matter of existence. It is perfectly legal for you to pick up their signal. It's illegal to decrypt the contents of the signal.
          In this case your phone is going "YOOOHOOO! I'm AF:23:D4:12:34:55

          • by vux984 ( 928602 )

            Just turn off your phone and give them less unencrypted information. It makes all the difference to simply STOP BROADCASTING.

            So I have to decide between receiving phone calls... including emergency phones from my family, friends,and work ... or submit to being tracked and identified?

            That's silly.

            What happens when they take your picture at the cash register and then photomatch it to facebook and other crowdsourced identification databases. What then? Walk around with a ski mask on? That'll go over well.

            • There was once a time when weren't all connected to the hivemind. It wasn't that long ago. All I'm saying is turn off your phone in the mall if it bothers you that much.

              To be honest, I'm an advocate for privacy and it doesn't bother me one bit. So what if they know I like A&W rootbeer and buy Calvin Klein underwear (but only if its 30-50% off).

      • I'll generally agree with this argument. This makes sense to me. If I'm being bombarded with RF then I should have the right to examine what I'm being bombarded with.

        I will suggest that someone could argue that there is a difference in examining the content of the radio signal, as in listening in to the conversation, and in using the radio signal to track the source of that signal. One could argue that there is a difference in listening in on the radio conversations of police cars and using the radios in

      • No. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @05:11AM (#38607740)
        I suspect you will find that is a "radio broadcast signal". It may be legal to receive signals from the police, but I strongly suspect that if you were found to be recording those signals and then using them to predict police movements, you would be in breach of the law. I think you are deliberately confusing simple reception, which is unavoidable in many cases and therefore cannot be illegal, and the use that is made of intercepts.

        If this tracking system stores no user information whatsoever, that would be one thing. But if it tracks phones by following MAC addresses or other information, and if there is CCTV, it can easily be argued that this could be used to store personal data by the simple route phone tracking -> cctv records -> facebook recognition (for instance). As the user does not know that s/he is being tracked, or even that this is possible, has not agreed to it, and does not know where to go to find the information, this appears to be in breach of Europen data protection legislation.

        I note that you suddenly switch from intercepting signals to recording signals and then say "is wrong is absolute and totally fails". This is some Netherlands legal formulation with which I am not familiar. You also write "This should be obvious to anybody with a brain". I am afraid that these are not legal arguments; they are content free attempted sledgehammers to close down discussion. The fact that you feel the need to do this shows, frankly, that you know you are writing rubbish. If you believed your own argument, you would not feel the need to justify it by pre-emptively announcing that anyone who disagrees with you is stupid. You must be huge fun at management meetings.

      • by binkzz ( 779594 )

        So, since these shoppers are transmitting radio signals they have given explicit permission

        I think you mean implicit.

      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        I was with you all the way up to that MMO Quest bit.

    • by DZign ( 200479 )

      Also my opinion.. probably a discussion will end being around technicalities (legal catching radiowaves or not)..

      Marketing/branding research already investigated shop layouts and paths shoppers make since many years. This is nothing new.
      The only difference is that in the past it was small scale. It started somewhere in the 1960ies/70ies, you had actual people in a shop and observing how shoppers walked around (seems most enter a shop, turn to the right and go around in a big circle).
      Later security cameras

      • by Inda ( 580031 )
        When Shop A swaps its tracking info with Shop B, we have an even bigger problem. Comet, Dixons and PC World are all owned by the same company and I'll guess they all share their data.

        Stalking is illegal in the UK. How is following me around from shop to shop not stalking?

        I couldn't give a shit if they say it's anonymous, as we all know it's not.

        I'm so glad most of my shopping is done online. The only shops I visit are local corner shops, many of which know my real name and where I live... maybe I haven't th
    • All the more reason to order your shit from Amazon and have it delivered by a guy that's not tracking your phone, nor taking your picture for visual recognition. If they want to play this game, screw 'em.
      • Yes, because Amazon do not track you. Oh no. They don't have a vast database on what you buy when. No. Not Amazon!
        If one's tin-foil hat is twitching: visit local stores (not national chains), only use cash.

        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          Well just access amazon from behind 7 proxies allways pay with visa gift cards creating a new account each time. Naturally have the goods delivered to a post office in a town or two over, rotate thru a number of then in 100mi radius or larger if you can manage. That way the only information amazon should have to is a big geographic area where a common name sir name pair shows up. Now if you had some quality fake ids you could use to claim the packages at the post you might be able to use different names

    • by hughbar ( 579555 )
      Related to this issue, often shopping centres and in London, Canary Wharf are not 'public realm'. So although, in many cases you appear to be in public space, you are not, you are in the jaws of some corporation or other [Westfield, Canary Wharf etc. etc.] Anna Minton's book, Ground Control: [] has a good exposition and explanation of this. Parts of our so-called 'Olympic Village' [which nearly all East Enders didn't want] are apparently private.

      So, surveillance
  • Opt Out (Score:3, Interesting)

    by expo53d ( 2511934 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:27AM (#38607570)
    You can 'opt out' of this tracking service by turning off your mobile phone. But in this time and day, this solution seems akin to telling people to stop using email to 'opt out' from spam or to stop eating foods to 'opt out' of food poisoning. But even if the management wanted the costumers to be able to opt out, how would they do it? The only way is to tell the system to stop tracking the phones opted out, which means the system will need to start tracking the phones individually (to identify which phones are to be tracked and which are opted out), and by doing that, they enable the system to track *individual* users who have not opted out, making the issue worse for the average consumer who has no idea that these systems exist/how they work.
    • You can opt out of this tracking service by ordering your stuff from and having it delivered. Problem solved.
      • by Magada ( 741361 )

        It's funny because it's true. If you do it, only Amazon will know what you shop and where you live and what your CCN is. Win-win!

    • Speak for yourself (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Viol8 ( 599362 )

      "turning off your mobile phone. But in this time and day, this solution seems akin to telling people to stop using email to 'opt out' from spam or to stop eating foods to 'opt out' of food poisoning."

      Is it? I have an old style dumbphone which I hardly ever have switched on. Its mainly just for me to make outgoing calls. If someone needs to contact me they can try my landline at home or work or else send a text or leave a voicemail and I'll pick it up later. I didn't need to be contactable 24/7 20 years ago

      • Only a fool lets technology rule their life rather than just being a tool.

        Ahhh, sweet English, where communication can so often be both grammatically correct and contextually ambiguous.

        So, in you opinion it's better to be a tool than a fool? :o)

  • Going to the mall is so 1980's. This technology is not only irrelevant, it's out of style.

    • And its no different to mail order which my housebound granny used to use all the time. Some of us LIKE going out and actually buying stuff on the spot, not having to wait 2 days for it to be chucked over the wall by some minimum wage fed-ex grunt.

  • If memory serves the whole argument comes down to whether the IMSI or any unique number to that phone is an interception of cellphone traffic. Currently only law enforcement can get at these and hackers/mobile providers obviously. Lets all just get these with cameras,car number plate+facial recognition and publish the combined results. Or we could record all FLO (forces of law and order) or owners of shops movements to get our own back.
  • I was about to ask if anyone had a list of places that did this (so I know if I were to go to one whether I needed to turn my phone off or not bring it), but found this in the Guardian article:

    However the company refused to say how many shopping centres in the UK used the technology or identify any of those that had installed it. The company only said that it was used in seven countries.

    I may see if I can find out about my local one, or just go with a default of not having my phone (either on or with me at all)

    • From the Guardian article there's a link to the Princesshay shopping centre which does use this system. Their website has a link to LandSecurities which is apparently the largest commercial property company in the uk. They have a link to a map which shows their retail property locations ( This is probably a good starting point to determine the shopping centres using this system in the UK.
  • In Soviet Britain, Centres Shop You!

    Couldn't resist ;-)

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Friday January 06, 2012 @05:47AM (#38607844) Journal

    I'm forced to use UK shopping centres, including participants in this system, more often than I would like (which given how often I would like is "never", probably isn't saying much). And you know what...

    Track me. Monitor me. Scrutinise me. Spy on me. Do whatever you want. Provided that what you do with the results tells you that what I actually want from the hell-hole you manage requires more than an identikit, crapulent collection of over-priced clothing and jewellery stores and a single branch of Game.

    I've noted the number of shops in these places that have closed down over the last two years and I'm not surprised. This isn't really a good time to be trying to sell people a £200 pair of jeans. In fact, I'm not sure there ever is a good time to try to sell people a £200 pair of jeans. And yet that's what every shop in these places seems to be trying to do.

    Whew... that turned into more of a rant than I intended.

    • Shops of all kinds are closing down in my country. Any town I go to, the larger it is, the more empty retail space I see, but EVERY town has more than I've ever seen there before.

      Perhaps the bite is coming to your cracker now.

      • Oh, believe me, the last thing I want to do is look like I'm celebrating shops going out of business and people losing their jobs.

        What I was remarking upon, I think, was how vulnerable so much of the retail sector - as represented in large British shopping centres, had left itself to the recession through the horrible lack of diversity on offer. I'd estimate that in Manchester's Trafford Centre (which I think is the biggest shopping centre in the UK outside of London), more than two thirds of the shops were

        • by xaxa ( 988988 )

          I'd estimate that in Manchester's Trafford Centre (which I think is the biggest shopping centre in the UK outside of London), more than two thirds of the shops were selling over-priced clothing and accessories.

          The two big, new shopping centres in London (Westfield Shepherd's Bush and Westfield Stratford) are the same, possibly worse. I've not been to the Stratford one, but the Shepherd's Bush one has a whole "Village" (building) of super-over-priced clothing.

          Both were meant to regenerate the area. As part of that, transport was improved -- the Shepherd's Bush one has one station at each corner, served by four different lines tube/rail lines. The Stratford one is similar. All that means is people arrive direct

    • Mod parent up for the expression "...the hell-hole you manage..."
  • If this is the same system as I remember reading about before it was setup by a Brit entrepreneur with GNURadio: []

    It sounds like a very inspiring story for geeks & radio enthusiast entrepreneurs.

    His software is of course, closed source so I can't say much more than that.I can't find the website now. I think he focusses on shopping malls but it can work anywhere and if you got the cash he'd probably do that for you.

    The bit I don't understand is how he communicates the movement to the customer. In my mind I imagined a full map but it could be more simple; just indicating which shop is closest.

    I think the company is called Path Intelligence? [] []

    The patent: []


  • by ibsteve2u ( 1184603 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @06:08AM (#38607930)
    Tape 'em to hamsters (be nice and use medical tape), and let the hamsters go.
    • Might be something you can do at Wal*Mart soon...they appear to see a future of some sort in mobile platforms [].

      I’m excited to announce that Small Society, a highly respected mobile agency, is joining the @WalmartLabs mobile team. Small Society embodies what has made us successful in 2011 and will help us accelerate that success in 2012.

      Like how I snuck this in wayyyyy down here?

    • by Splab ( 574204 )

      I've got a piece of medical tape attached to my arm right now (3rd time this week getting bloodwork done) - trust me, it *will* hurt when you are furry/hairy.

  • get pointed out that I am a citizen and a human being, not a "consumer" ? I wish NOT to be reduced to what, where and when I buy.
  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @07:45AM (#38608256)

    ...which is simply not using a mobile phone to enable "tracking" systems like this, never considered?

    There are obvious weaknesses to tracking systems such as this. Yes, the majority of you may be sitting there laughing uncontrollably at the notion of you actually giving up your cell phone, but you're not laughing any harder or louder than the older generation at the notion that no one thinks they can "survive" without one.

    Forget the Internet, how the hell we survived prior to the last 20 years without cell phones continues to perplex even the most advanced minds.

  • I wonder if this can be prosecuted under the wireless telegraphy act?

    In Britain you're not free to receive any radio signals you want, you need authorization to do so. (That's how they get radar detectors - the radar detectors are not illegal, but receiving the radar signal without a license is). Some parts of the WT act are course a stupid and illiberal law, but it could be used for good in this instance.

  • The store may be private property but essentially you are in a public place. You are easily observable and can be followed by anyone who can obtain the same information. If the supermarket openly stated that they were doing this I don't have a problem with that. Some people may so they should turn the cell phone off. No big deal here. Of course there is a chance that the information is misused but I think we'll have t wait and see what happens.
  • and don't even carry a "dumb phone" mobile device unless I am meeting someone somewhere.

  • ...and tracking by camera?

    There's already camera systems in use in retail stores which measure customer flow, calculating dwell time in front of specific products, navigation between isles and so on.

    Here's one example [] which came up in a quick Google search.

    This sounds like applying that same principle within a mall to track which store a given person/type of shopper visits on a single trip.

    Just like the stores, the malls already have security cameras in place, recording your visit. All they would

  • Why not just turn your phone/mobile device off?

    Maybe not 100% of the time forever, but it would make an impressive protest. Have a huge crowd show up at that shopping center, invisible.

    Unless you are a doctor with a patient in critical care, a drug dealer or are on duty at your job you probably don't need to have your phone on while in a shopping center. This probably true for 90% of the people out there. Phone calls can wait until they get home.

    Another great way to protest this is to have a team putting

    • by IIH ( 33751 )

      Another great way to protest this is to have a team putting up warning signs with some cool 1984/orwellian illustrations all around the shopping center.

      Or how about having a large number of people walk around with phones on, with their path describing the word "N O" or similar?

    • Phone calls can wait until they get home.

      Who uses their phones to call people anymore?

      Li'l Suzie and Freddie might miss the latest round of OMGLULZ text/twitter/fb storms, and do you know how long it takes to get caught up again??? Not to mention the accusations of snobbery, or cascades of UMAD?!?s from their hyperactive compatriots? The horror...

  • Is it possible to put something into a phone to detect when the phone is being tracked? How about is a surveillance camera is operating?

    If not, it could be a cool thing to develop.

    People's phones could beep when it detects they are being spied on. The owners could then walk up to whatever local manager there is and let them know they will not be shopping there.

    Better yet, a phone app that will jam such technology without hurting the hardware.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Is it possible to put something into a phone to detect when the phone is being tracked? How about is a surveillance camera is operating?

      If not, it could be a cool thing to develop.

      People's phones could beep when it detects they are being spied on. The owners could then walk up to whatever local manager there is and let them know they will not be shopping there.

      Better yet, a phone app that will jam such technology without hurting the hardware.

      Is it possible to put something on my wifi access point to detect

  • it's their carts, so they can track them.
    Oh, this center does not have carts? Baskets?
    Or hand out to random people "would you mind being tracked, carry this device until you exit"

  • The same suggestion I had for mucking up Facebook's data. Create false data. Though this is more difficult but could still easily be done. Just schedule shopping trips to coincide with your friends. Swamp cell phones in the parking lot, do your shopping on separate routes, swap back in the parking lot. Use a variety of friends. Suddenly their data is all fucked up.

  • Don't want to be tracked? Turn off your cellphone when you enter areas using this tracking technology.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...