Does Apple Track Shoppers?
With the new iBeacon technology, Apple will now track your every move once you step foot into their store.
It may seem like intrusion of privacy as Apple takes on the parental role to its customers. In hopes of guiding Apple users around the store with better success, whether they are there to simply pick up an order or upgrade to a new iPhone, the store will follow shoppers, step by step, throughout their retail experience.
As of Friday, Apple started to use the technology at its 254 U.S. store locations to send messages about products, events, and other information, based on where you are inside the store. This will only be the case if you have downloaded the Apple Store app and given Apple permission to track you, so go ahead and take a sigh of relief if you'd really rather not be bothered amidst your shopping trip.
The iBeacon feature will notify you if the computer you ordered is ready to be picked up. All you have to do is show an Apple employee the screen of your device with the order number displayed, and he or she will get it for you upon your arrival.
Basically, if you are walking near an iPhone table in the store, you may receive a message on your phone that asks if you are interested in upgrading. It may also ask if you want to check to see whether you will get money for trading in your old phone for a new one.
While it may be a concept that sounds new or foreign, other stores have also implemented the location technology. For example, an app called Shopkick sends discounts to users who enter Macy's, J.C. Penney, and other stores.
Contrary to many common concerns, Apple assures that this tracking technology does not raise privacy worries. Shoppers mustn't worry that their every move be watched and recorded, as Apple insists that the store does not collect information about shoppers inside its stores.