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Australian shopping malls are tracking customers mobile phones.

Thursday, September 19th, 2013 - Blog & News

Mobile phone tracking in Australia and in particular – tracking YOUR mobile phone in a shopping centre.  Sounds alarming doesnt it.  Did you know companies can track mobile telephones by scanning for WiFi signals or by intercepting mobile telephone signals?

Heres an article that appeared in the ABC news network site in Australia.  For reading of the article  go to http://goo.gl/rU5JIo.

So as the article covered… are you used to being tracked when you go and do the shopping at the local shopping centre or within your cities CBD say in Melbourne or Sydney or Brisbane for that matter?

The ABC mentioned that more and more shopping centres and councils around Australia are ALREADY DOING IT to work out where people are going and how they got there.

As a casing example, Adelaide was highlighted as the Rundle Mall who is considering the technology to implement into the mall as part of its $30 million dollar redevelopment work.  “if” the technology was implemented a spokesperson for Rundle Mall said, then that will allow business to find out more information about the customers movements.

Mobile Phone Tracking Australia – Leveling the Playing field.

Many supporters of implementing this type of technology suggest that this is only leveling the playing field between the bricks and mortar businesses and how information about people is collected and the online world.  Its said that many online stores have access to specific data of customers “habits” and this has been around for years online where online stores can monitor peoples movements around the store and work out how long they spend on the web page and what products they are interested in whether they clicked or not on the products etc etc.

With the technology you dont get an optin and you dont have to be connected to a WiFi network.  These scans are generally of smart phone technology which scans produced by the Inhouse Group.  Theres another system from the UK called Footpath by Path Intelligence and this software intercepts mobile phone network signals.  At any rate both systems cant access the content of your phones.

In most cases you dont know the systems being used.  Developers of these systems won’t reveal who their clients are.  So in effect we don;t know who is using these systems, how and what the end result is.  Path Intelligence confirmed with the ABC they have clients in Australia.

Mobile Phone Tracking In Australia – Is set to increase the level of people tracking and tracking of cell phones.

The ABC said that the “technology is set to increase”.  Well, why would it not increase.  Inhouse Group said around twenty businesses are using their systems around the country from shopping centres to cafes.

Westfield it was mentioned does not employ the technology in its operations in Sydney’s CBD, Westfield shopping centres in Melbourne and Westfield Brisbane.

AMP Shopping Centres said to the ABC they are planning to install the systems at some of their new developments.  These systems have also been used for crowd number estimations at Moomba Festival, New Years Eve events in Melbourne and other major events around Australia.

Tracking Mobile Telephones in Australia in Commercial shopping centres – Is this a breach of Privacy to track someone?

In respect to the privacy Act – there would be concern about privacy issues – the privacy Act etc.  The article actually didn’t specifically deal with this question and its a very real question.  The closest they came to giving an answer was “possible”.

The bottom line is if you have concerns, when in the shopping centre simply turn off your WiFi.

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Australian shopping malls are tracking customers mobile phones. | reg | 4.5