In the press there has been a lot of discussion about consumer privacy in the Internet services (Google, Facebook) but also in the physical world – the shopping centers. For that reason it feels like an appropriate moment to share our thoughts about privacy in our domain where collecting and sharing data is bread and butter and how we, at RapidBlue respect consumers’ privacy.
The discussion about consumer privacy has had a negative emphasis. Companies in our domain are scrutinized by authorities about both consumer and data privacy. Media and public characters are keen to take sides with the vocal common people. In the January interactive edition of Shopping Centre Magazine the author Graham Parker interviews some key stakeholders and outlines the issues which mobile tracking can arise with poor PR. The different technologies that are used to track consumers also vary on how the consumer privacy is taken in consideration. Could it be possible that data collection could be mutually beneficial?
Bluetooth technology that RapidBlue uses to monitor movement in retail locations is ‘consumer friendly’ as RapidBlues CEO Gavin Weigh simply puts it in the article aforementioned:
“Shoppers who don’t wish to be detected by RapidBlue’s sensors can simply disable the Bluetooth connection on their phone ’’
This allows the consumer to continue using the mobile phone unlike in some of the alternative solutions where the cellular communication is being tracked and the only way to avoid that is to power off the phone. What if you want to use Bluetooth headset but do not want to be tracked?
For those who wish keeping their Bluetooth discoverable but regardless want to ‘opt out’ as we say, we have another option:
“– customers can opt out by registering their details on the company’s website and from then on the sensors will simply ignore their phone.’’
In practice you would submit your mobile phone’s MAC address anonymously through our website and have your device removed from all the data collected.
Finally, it is very important to understand that the most important fact about Bluetooth based technology and tracking is that consumers’ identity is guaranteed by using Bluetooth. MAC address is only linked to the actual device. Identifying a person using the MAC address is impossible while some of the tracking technologies where the data is collected from cellular network traffic or biometric passports, have direct link to a person.
“[Consumer] Privacy has to be protected and the Bluetooth system allows that.’’
Read the whole article here: http://bit.ly/yUixEy