Mobile Tracking & Privacy – What’s Your Stance?

As mobility continues to be on the forefront of the minds of both businesses and consumers, we have to wonder—how much is too much, and how is this affecting our privacy?

In Australia, a mobile tracking solution from Path Intelligence, a company that brings online analytics to the real world, will be rolled out at a shopping mall. While consumer information such as names and phone numbers will not be released, location will be. Essentially, shoppers will be tracked via their cell throughout the mall. This, combined with security cameras and POS systems could be a game-changer in retail—what if someone knew how much you were spending, where you spent it, and where you were headed next?

However, this is sort of technology is illegal in America, but there are some gray areas and the reasonable expectation of privacy could be reevaluated. Imagine having your trusty mobile device turned into a GPS tracker for the mall, or some other corporation. What if your employer could use this sort of technology? While Path Intelligence does not disclose how their technology works, its presumable that they install devices similar to a cell tower on the premise, which would transmit a signal to nearby cell phones and receive a signal back from that phone in order to determine location.

While this is still illegal in the U.S., it could potentially threaten consumer privacy, while being a retail and mobile marketer’s dream. How do you feel about the idea of being tracked? Has mobile technology gone too far, or is this the natural progression… or have we been tracked all along? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.