According to The Consumerist , there are at least two malls that are going to be tracking consumer’s shopping patterns using shopper’s cell phone signals. The goal is for stores and malls as a whole to be able to market to retailers in a more appealing and efficient manner, and what better time to track shoppers than during the busiest time of the year, Black Friday through New Year’s Day.

“We won’t be looking at singular shoppers,” says the VP of digital strategy for Forest City, the management company for both the Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, VA, that will be tracking shopper’s cell phone signals, anonymously.

“The system monitors patterns of movement. We can see, like migrating birds, where people are going to…. We don’t need to know who it is and we don’t need to know anyone’s cell phone number, nor do we want that.”

By tracking consumer’s shopping patterns malls/stores hope to figure out things like: How many Nordstrom shoppers visit the Nordstrom Specialty Coffee Bar? Are their certain areas of the mall that are not being visited? How long do people look around before checking out?

I’m sure many of you are thinking that this is extremely creepy and wondering how it is legal. Well, shoppers will be notified by signs informing them about the tracking and instructing them to turn off their cell phones if they do not want to participate.

We have all dreamt about what animal we would be if we could be one and usually animals like a majestic eagle soaring through the sky or a strong lion ruling the animal kingdom come to mind… but looks like in this day and age we are all a bunch of guinea pigs.

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