Retailers Face New Mobile Tracking Code of Conduct

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) unveiled a new code of conduct for tracking shoppers on their mobile devices on Tuesday, October 22.

The new code of conduct, in which shoppers will clearly know when they are being tracked via their phones in stores, stands to have a big impact on mobile retail and promotions. Consumers will also be instructed on how to opt out of mobile tracking.

"This is a significant step forward in the quest for consumer privacy," Schumer said in a prepared statement, CNET reported. "This agreement shows that technology companies, retailers, and consumer advocates can work together in the best interest of the consumer."

Eight of the 10 largest companies in the location analytics business – including Euclid, iInside (part of WirelessWERX), Mexia Interactive, Nomi, SOLOMO and Radius Networks – support the code of conduct.

The code requires stores to post conspicuous signs when using tracking technology, and to offer a Web site from which customers can opt out of being tracked. Plus, data collected must not be personal and cannot be used to adversely affect a shopper's employment, healthcare or insurance.

However, it is not clear what impact the code of conduct will have, since Schumer and the FPF did not provide details on penalties for companies that violate the code and when the code will be implemented. Schumer acknowledged that the compromise is limited. "There is more work to be done," he said in the statement.

For more, see:
This TechCrunch article
This CNET article

Related Articles:
1-800-Flowers Fingerprints its Mobile Shoppers
If Face Recognition Can Spot Celebrities, Why Not Loyalty Shoppers?
In-Store Tracking Gets More Media Notice, So Retailers Need to Boost Their Transparency
Nordstrom Ends Controversial Customer-Tracking Trial
Nordstrom Illustrates Why Mobile May Change the Rule on Third Parties