“Personal cellphones are just that – personal,” Schumer said at a press conference. “If retailers want to tap into your phone to see what your shopping patterns are, they can ask you for your permission to do so.”
So how does it work?
PC Magazine says the tracking works by installing receivers on walls at the location to be tracked. These devices then track anyone in the vicinity who has a cellphone on. The tracking system can determine which stores attract the most customers. The companies behind the technology say all the information is anonymous and that anyone can immediately opt out by simply turning off their cellphone, PC Magazine reports.
Retailers have increasingly tracked where and how people shop, and consumers have been willing to provide their personal information or telephone numbers so they can receive promotional deals. But this type of tracking without someone’s prior consent is quite different.
“The point is, people kind of freak out when you start tracking their physical location,” writes Keith Wagstaff, a technology reporter for Time’s Techland section. “Information online is abstract; the exact spot where you are standing right now is not. What remains to be seen is whether or not the fear of being tracked will win out over the desire to score good deals.”
This week’s Color of Money question: How would you feel about malls tracking your shopping habits? Send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name, city and state. Put “The Malls Are Watching” in the subject line.
My Roof, My Rules
How do you ask your parents to respect your boundaries when you are broke and living in their home?
During an online discussion, a reader asked Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax about establishing financial boundaries with her parents.
“For financial reasons, I’m moving with my toddler back to my parents’ house,” she wrote Hax. “I’m not married and I don’t earn enough in my job to support the two of us right now. These things make me ripe for nagging from my parents, who have every right to do so — after all, they’re letting us live there rent-free.”
Hax says her dependency gives her parents some say. But limits can still be established.
I agree with Hax on this point: The choices this young woman makes to fix her financial situation are fair territory for her parents. They have a right to know and track what she’s doing with her money and at what point she can finally live on her own.