Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

‘Mall Tracking’ at Cellphone Location-Privacy Hearing

It’s probably common knowledge that online retailers gather data about shoppers and that brick-and-mortar stores gather data using loyalty cards. But what about “mall tracking?”

The topic was mentioned at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing Wednesday on Sen. Al Franken’s cellphone location privacy bill, during which Franken talked about “stalking” apps.

Jessica Rich, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Protection Bureau, said:

We recently had a seminar on mall tracking, which is not about stalking, but it’s about the use of GPS to track consumer’s movements in stores, and I think that raised awareness about the use of geolocation. And we will be issuing a report on that. And we will be — we continue to have workshops and seminars on consumer protection issues like these.

The practice is nothing new. Even back in 2011news outlets were reporting on the practice of brick-and-mortar shopping malls collecting information about shoppers through their cellphones.

Last year, New York Democrat Charles E. Schumer called for the Federal Trade Commission to clarify that stores not notifying shoppers that this is happening or giving them a way to opt-out would be an “unfair or deceptive trade practice.”

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    The Republican and democratic parties, have both FAILED the millions of unemployed families without an UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION since late last December. For over five months now, the republicans have held the extension bill “HOSTAGE” in the senate, for political leverage, and party agenda. While millions of these families were facing EVICTIONS, HOME FORECLOSURES, BANKRUPTCY, AND HOMELESSNESS, the politicians were playing “party politics” and using them as bargaining chips. Both party’s have totally walked away from this crisis, preferring not do anything further more about it. When so many families are struggling, and hurting financially, and watching their credit becoming destroyed, the congress approved a foreign aid package for the Ukraine, worth BILLIONS of tax payer dollars. How can this be possible? What ever happened to taking care of Americans here at home? Both parties have shown a total lack of human compassion, and common decency towards these unemployed families. Americans need to demonstrate out in the streets across this country, and demand CHANGE. We need to REMOVE these career politicians, and replace them with “PUBLIC SERVANTS” again, that will truly represent the people.

    • Buzz Allnight

      Um, not a republican here.
      There does have to be a limit somewhere.
      It is done and over now and you need to make other plans.
      Having more kids would not be a good idea….
      I agree with you we need to stop all foreign aid.
      Apparently we need to save the money so we can give it to the flood of illegal aliens that walk into our country every day?

  • Lister Eane

    Since we don’t fully know the sources of our traditions, we should realize that we aren’t free to change them without risking social havoc.

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