Amanda Pendolino
May 10, 2013

Nordstrom Is Tracking You Via Smartphone As You Shop

Forget about Big Brother — Nordstrom is watching you.

When you gaze longingly at Tory Burch wedges or peruse fluffy bath towels, the retailer is tracking you through your smartphone. According to CBS News, Nordstrom has been tracking customers in 17 stores for the past nine months as part of a trial that aims to gather information about customer behavior.

Nordstrom is working with tech vendor Euclid Elements to follow the movements of customers with WiFi-enabled smartphones. 35 other stores are working with Euclid on similar tracking systems.

Here’s the creepy part: you won’t even know that it’s happening. Also, vendors say they don’t look at customers’ faces, but advancements in facial recognition technology could change that. (As if it wasn’t already creepy enough that Target can know you’re pregnant before you do.)

Eventually, if every company implements this kind of tracking technology, a company like Euclid can follow you from store to store and analyze all your movements. Some shoppers might enjoy all the “personalized” offers (read: ads) that will follow, but I personally don’t like that companies will know everything I’m doing. Unfortunately, a federal court recently ruled that there is no right to privacy when it comes to location data on your phone.

Has Big Brother won?