"Customers in a Perth shopping centre are being tracked secretly via their mobile phone wireless signals as part of a trial aimed at bringing consumers back to "bricks and mortar" shopping in the face of online competition.
Insights, a program developed by inhouse group, a small digital media company founded in Mandurah, has been in place in an unnamed shopping centre for the past six months.
Sensors hidden in the ceiling are tracking the movements of up to 70,000 customers a week and recording data, including how many people visit, which shoppers return and which departments they frequent.
The data is used by the centre to adjust its promotions and displays."
"The goal is to track the movement of shoppers in order to better understand shopping patterns, thus creating improved marketing campaigns
The tracking of user activity via smartphones is not too uncommon these days. Apple was caught tracking iPhone and iPad user locations via an OS X app, Microsoft was sued for allegedly tracking user locations without consent in WP7, and Google's Android mobile operating system has apps that track and share user info as well.
Now, an Australian shopping center in Queensland will obtain fit receivers that track shopper's locations within two meters by identifying unique mobile phone radio frequency codes.
The shopping center, which remains unknown for now until it makes a public announcement when the system is up and running, will get the fit receivers from a UK company called Path Intelligence. This new tracking operation is called the Footpath system."