Privacy and Customer Research Practices Survey

Illuminated Blog Post 1

Written by: Ashley Baader

Some brick and mortar retailers have begun using cell phone tracking as a way to research about their customers. Learning people’s location allows retailers to build shopper profiles which can be used to create targeted marketing strategies.

Most people are unaware of this practice and so I wanted to learn how people would react to a business tracking their movements. I surveyed friends and family, which included multiple age groups, in order to identify their attitudes towards privacy and customer research practices employed by some retailers.

Here are the results:

1. Are you comfortable giving up private information?

Strongly uncomfortable: 6 out of 9

Moderately uncomfortable: 1 out of 9

Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable: 0 out of 9

Moderately comfortable: 2 out of 9

Strongly comfortable: 0 out of 9

2. Do you consider location to be private information?

Yes: 8 out of 9

No: 1 out of 9

3. How frequently do you have your cell phone with you?

Never: 1 out of 9

Rarely: 0 out of 9

Sometimes: 0 out of 9

Often: 5 out of 9

Always: 3 out of 9

4. Are you comfortable with a retailer tracking your location within their own store?

Strongly uncomfortable: 4 out of 9

Moderately uncomfortable: 1 out of 9

Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable: 3 out of 9

Moderately comfortable: 0 out of 9

Strongly comfortable: 1 out of 9

5. Are you comfortable with a retailer tracking your location outside of their store?

Strongly uncomfortable: 6 out of 9

Moderately uncomfortable: 1 out of 9

Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable: 0 out of 9

Moderately comfortable: 1 out of 9

Strongly comfortable: 1 out of 9

6. How would you rate your knowledge of research practices used by brick and mortar stores to learn about their customers?

Unfamiliar: 7 out of 9

Somewhat knowledgeable: 2 out of 9

Very knowledgeable: 0 out of 9

7. What is your position on the practice of retailers tracking their customers’ cell phones? 

Strongly disagree: 6 out of 9

Moderately disagree: 2 out of 9

Neither agree nor disagree: 0 out of 9

Moderately agree: 1 out of 9

Strongly agree: 0 out of 9

Works Cited

Dwoskin, Elizabeth. “What Secret Your Phone is Sharing About You”. The Wall Street Journal.

             The Wall Street Journal., 13 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Sept 2015.