Privacy on other peoples property?

Grocery cart After reading an article in the Economist about how stores are using technology to watch their consumers, I thought about what rights do you have if any on other peoples property.

The Economist reports that they are using the data to figure out how to arrange the store to become more profitable. This part I can see no problems, it is the same idea as using cameras for security reasons. This will also benefit the consumer because it will reduce transactions costs for looking for those hot new items.

The other interesting and possibly debatable topic is the fact that some are using microphones to listen to your conversation. People could be worried about what to say and feel like it is an infringement upon your rights.

Minus corruption, I personally see no problems with this. I could understand where rogue employees could cook up a scheme to somehow find out what consumers are doing and possibly infringe upon their rights outside of the store. Maybe if you hear Mrs. Johnson is going on vacation they could go and rob her.

Now this is a stretch and if this happens a lot, people would catch on and not go to the stores.

This would create a somewhat of a liability for the business owner. He would then hire someone to monitor these people and probably give them security checks to make sure their consumers do not feel threatened.

On a side note: I found it interesting and no surprise that when parents bring kids they spend more money on average. Most people would think on sweets but that actually wasn’t true.

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Published in: on February 5, 2008 at 5:14 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Excellent points indeed. Use of security cameras in retail settings are growing, especially for monitoring the sales flow and effectiveness of marketing technologies. Many of our customers have made use of strategic security cameras for this specific purpose…but none of them have begun to breach the topic of audio in that environment. While I agree that the audio could be useful, at the same time, I am not sure that audio is worth the definite concerns about privacy issues in that environment. Especially in certain states, audio recording is still a very sticky subject, while video is simply limited to areas where the customer or employee does not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy”.

    Thank you for your insights.


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