Facebook Announces Latest Tracking Scheme: Spam You At Retail Stores


Facebook Announces Latest Tracking Scheme: Spam You At Retail Stores

In the latest example of a solution looking for a problem, Facebook announced on Monday that its Place Tips program is expanding nationwide.

Place Tips uses Bluetooth beacons to push Facebook posts and photos about a business to shoppers' phones while they're in the store.

In short, you will now be spammed by useless content as you wait in line to buy your Starbucks.

Just why you would want to know more about your local coffee shop through this mobile spamming isn't quite clear. It also remains to be seen why a business would want to give you useful items, like a coupon, if you're already in the store.

But for those in the know, its obvious what is going: Tracking.

By pushing you useless junk, Facebook has an excuse to collect data about you. In-store or retail analytics is a hot new technology, which allows retailers to track and trace you as you wander around or past a store. If you have a mobile phone, they pick it up and track you.

But existing systems don't connect to Facebook, which knows the most about you of any big internet company.

Facebook's new plan pushes you junk and requires you to accept that junk. Once you do, Facebook can now associate the formerly anonymous data with your Facebook life.

As you then walk around town, entering or passing by other Facebook-enabled stores, the privacy invader will track you.

Accept once, get tracked forever.

The program started at a few select retailers in New York City in January, and is now available to all businesses in the United State.

In a sign you, and your personal information, are most definitely the product, Facebook will give the tracking beacons away to retailers for free.

As we've said before, beware billionaires bearing gifts. If its free and asks for information its not the product.

You are.

Facebook gave no details on how users might opt out of the program, whether they have accepted a spam request or not.

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