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Customers complain, Nordstrom stops in-store tracking

Nordstrom has incurred the wrath of some customers who don't like the company following their movements inside their stores. (AP Photo)

Nordstrom has incurred the wrath of some customers who don't like the company following their movements inside their stores.

The Seattle-based clothing retailer was doing the brick and mortar equivalent of what online retailers do all the time. It was using Wi-Fi signals to follow the wanderings of its customers. If a phone is set to seek out a Wi-Fi signal, a company that offers Wi-Fi can latch on to that and track the customers.

When Nordstrom posted signs revealing the strategy, the The New York Times reports some customers complained and Nordstorm stopped in May.

"Way over the line," declared one customer on Facebook.

Other retailers employ similar strategies to figure out what customers like and don't like, how long they consider an item before buying or rejecting it.

It's possible that shoppers are more sensitive about the tracking of their personal information, what with the recent National Security Agency scandal about government surveillance.

About the Author


Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.

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