Oct 272013
 
 October 27, 2013  Business

Katharine Goodloe writes:

Under a new self-regulatory code released earlier this week, brick-and-mortar retailers that track customer in-store movements using mobile phone WiFi signals must disclose the practice to customers and allow them to opt out.

The code was created by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and a group of mobile analytics companies.  It was announced jointly by the FPF and by Sen. Charles Schumer, who in July called on the Federal Trade Commission to require retailers to allow customers to opt-out of the tracking.   Sen. Schumer praised the code as a significant step forward, but noted there is “still much more work to be done.”

Read more on Covington & Burling Inside Privacy.

  2 Responses to “Self-Regulatory Code Released for Retailers Using WiFi To Track Customers”

  1. Yet another group of foxes has applied for the job of guarding the chicken coop under the name of self-regulation. They’re bringing to real space the same opt-out, “notice and choice” system that has proven so effective at continually reducing privacy online.

    Anyone who claims to be a privacy advocate who has anything to do with this unenforced sham code should just admit he is just negotiating the terms of the total surrender of privacy.

    With that in mind, I’m going to propose a code of conduct for privacy advocates.

    1. Reductions is privacy should be opt-in. Nobody who values anything makes the reduction of it opt-out. Money is valued. Credit card charges are opt-in. Advocating any opt-out scheme as indicating consent for reducing privacy is a violation of this code.

    2. The privacy invasion is in the collection of the data, not the use of the data. A hidden video camera in your bedroom is an abuse even if whoever put it there claims to not watch the video except under certain circumstances. The same applies to collecting phone records.
    Advocating systems which claim to protect privacy by restricting access to the records of hidden surveillance is a violation of this code.

    3. Self regulation does not work to protect privacy when the business models of those writing the regulations depend on them not working.
    Advocating self regulation to protect privacy is a violation of this code.

    I’m sure this code is just as likely to be enforced as the one proposed by the Future of Privacy Forum.

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