A spokesperson for the vendor behind the trials--Path Intelligence, of Portsmouth--said its equipment was just a tool for market research. "There's absolutely no way we can link the information we gather back to the individual," a spokesperson said. "There's nothing personal in the data." But their system does apparently grab a consumer's phone's unique IMEI number, which is found on all GSM and UMTS mobile phones. The carrier would theoretically have the data to match it to personally identifiable data.
Some British Retailers Secretly Tracking Customers, Using Their Cellphone's Transmissions
A pair of British shopping centers is experimenting with a creative way to leverage consumer cellphones. The consumers are being surreptitiously tracked by the signals emitted by all mobile devices and a database notes when consumers "enter a shopping centre, what stores they visit, how long they remain there and what route they take as they walked around," according to a report in The London Times.