There has been a theory for a long time that phones are secretly listening to our conversations to collect data and generate targeted ads. The truth is, everytime you connect to a store’s wifi or download a store’s app, it sends signals and allows for “active tracking” on your phone.

The stores use personal data from your phone such as your recent searches or how long you were even in the store. Some stores even have the technology to monitor where in the store you are using beacons that connect to the stores mobile app.

Using all of this information, they are able to build a profile based on your behavior and interests to generate ads and sales that are more catered to you.

Mobile apps often require the user to agree to a privacy policy, but how many people actually look through it? They disclose the information they collect from your phone and how they use that data.

Just because you do not sign into wifi or download the app does not mean that they are not tracking you, passive tracking allows the signals sent from your phone to reach the store’s signals.

Keep in mind though that not all retail stores track in this way however, some stores do not participate in passive tracking to maintain their integrity to their customers.

The best way to avoid targeted ads and your personal information from being released is to turn off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your mobile device.

Article by
Brynna Benjamin
Content Writer and Researcher