FPF Announces New Group to Develop Best Practices for Retail Location Analytics Companies


The Future of Privacy Forum Announces New Group to Develop Best Practices for Retail Location Analytics Companies 

First Step for Shaping Privacy Principles for Technologies Aiming to Improve the In-Store Shopping Experience

Date: July 16, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) today announced that it is working with a group of leading technology companies to develop best practices for retail location analytics. The companies, including Euclid, WirelessWERX, Mexia Interactive and ShopperTrak, provide solutions to retailers to develop aggregate reports used to reduce waiting times at check-out, to optimize store layouts and to understand consumer shopping patterns.  The reports are generated by recognizing the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth MAC addresses of cellphones as they interact with store Wi-Fi networks.

FPF’s goal is to make sure these technologies are subject to privacy controls and are used responsibly to improve the consumer shopping experience.

“Companies need to ensure they have data protection standards in place to de-identify data, to provide consumers with effective choices to not be tracked and to explain to consumers the purposes for which data is being used,” said Jules Polonetsky, Director of the Future of Privacy Forum.  “By being transparent about what is going on, location companies and retailers can make sure shoppers understand the benefit of the bargain.

“New technologies are helping retailers better understand what customers want and make shopping more convenient for everyone,” said Will Smith, co-founder and CEO, Euclid. “Privacy has always been a priority as we’ve designed and built our services, and we are excited to work with FPF to develop best practices for the retail analytics industry.”

“Our emerging industry has focused on building innovative analytics products that help our retail partners compete more effectively and deliver better value and service to consumers, while always protecting their anonymity and privacy.  By proactively establishing these standards of conduct, we hope to demonstrate our continued commitment both as a company and as an industry to adhere to the highest standards of consumer privacy and protection,” said Jim Riesenbach, CEO, WirelessWERX.  

“ShopperTrak is working with FPF because we believe in individuals’ rights to privacy.  ShopperTrak’s wireless solution only stores anonymous data and enables consumers to opt-out of any tracking whatsoever, should they so desire,” said Christopher Ainsley, CEO ShopperTrak.

Working together with retailers and the in-store location technology companies, FPF will seek to input from a range of stakeholders and will release a proposed code of conduct by November 2013.

If you are interested in learning more about the project, please email [email protected].

For any questions, or to schedule an interview, please contact Heather Federman at [email protected].

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a Washington, DC based think tank that seeks to advance responsible data practices. The forum is led by Internet privacy experts Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf and includes an advisory board comprised of leading figures from industry, academia, law and advocacy groups.