What Your Phone Is Saying About You

July 1, 2014 – In The News

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in the Newsmax article, " What Your Phone Is Saying About You." Full text can be found in the July 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Smartphones have the ability to tell retailers when you’re walking into their stores, what you’re looking at, how much you’re likely to spend and other details you may prefer to keep private.

Your phone may also be telling the government who you call, what you’re talking about and where you are.

Many surveillance technology companies that provide retailers with the ability to track shoppers via migration access or MAC code, claim their technologies don’t collect any personal identifiable data. This does not stop the retailer from finding methods to uncover the identities of shoppers.

“It’s possible to take the MAC code and combine it with public information, such as from data brokers, to develop profiles about who your shoppers are,” said Scott L. Vernick, a noted privacy attorney.

Shoppers frequently play an unknowing role in enhancing retailers’ surveillance programs by providing email addresses or downloading the company’s app.

Knowing where a customer is in the store allows the retailer to use cutting-edge marketing tactics, says Vernick.

“One of the things they can do is entice you with coupons and other kinds of discounts as you move through the store,” he said.