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Phone Tracking And The Law: Clear Sailing
Is it profitable?
Footfall data is supposedly useful to retailers, because they can use this anonymized and aggregated data to determine things like store locations, product placements, and where and when customers go. So footfall data is clearly profitable for Euclid, and it may ultimately be profitable for Nordstrom or other retailers.
Is it Wise?
At the end of the day, anytime a retailer is collecting, storing, using, selling, transferring or analyzing data about a customer, that retailer needs to put itself in the shoes of its customers (in Nordstrom’s case, very nice shoes) and ask, “what would I want to know about this?” As a retailer, you want trust, which comes from openness, honestly and, potentially, an “opt in” rather than an “opt out.” And ask hard questions of the vendors, too. Find out how they will use the information collected, whether they will sell it and secure it, and how they will delete it. And put that in your privacy statement, too. Another question to ask is, “if my customers knew I was doing this, would they be upset?” If the answer to that question is “yes,” then maybe you should rethink the policy. If the answer is “no,” then hey, just tell them.
If you disagree with me, I’ll see you in court, buddy. If you agree with me, however, I would love to hear from you.