Pretty much anything you do now is being tracked in some form or fashion. Everytime you connect to the internet someone is tracking you. Whether it be from a cookie tracking your website, and then an ad picking up on that cookie and presenting relevant advertising, or search engines tracking your searches. All of these things can be used for a more convenient online experience, but don’t be fooled. The companies collecting this data are making millions and millions of dollars thanks to you.
Let’s take it further now. Let’s assume you own a smart phone, most of us do today. Your smart phone is equipped with WiFi. That WiFi is constantly scanning looking for wireless networks. Now imagine as you are walking through a major retail store or shopping mall. How valuable would the traffic flow of people be worth to a major retailer like Target or the like? Imagine if they could see how people flow through their stores, what attracts people, what doesn’t. Well you are already providing that. Connect to a public WiFi and you are likely being tracked in more ways than you expect.
Another great tactic in use today is using public WiFi to track how many people visit your establishment, how many pass by without stopping in, and how long people stay in your establishment. This is a big thing for coffee shops. Shops can use targeted public advertising and use WiFi and sales statistics to determine their effectiveness.
Danny McLean, PEI