Nordstrom ends smartphone customer tracking

Nordstrom shopping bag
FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2009 file photo, a Nordstrom shopper is shown Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nordstrom is no longer collecting information from the smart phones of its customers.

In February, the technology being used at 17 Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores across the country, including the Nordstrom Rack store in downtown Portland, was reported by KOIN 6 News.

Sensors staged throughout the stores were able to track signals from smart phones as they attempted to connect to Wi-Fi service.  The company said it was using the information to measure foot traffic in various departments in the stores throughout the day.

Nordstrom spokesperson Tara Darrow confirmed the company changed their signs after KOIN 6 News did a story in September 2012, making them more readable after customers complained they were not aware they were being tracked.

“We’d been testing Euclid since September and have said all along this was a test for us,” Darrow said Friday. “We had been discussing what made sense in terms of concluding the test. After eight months we’d felt like we had learned a lot and determined that it was the right time to end it.”

Nordstrom said the sensors never received any personal information from customers, but shoppers KOIN 6 News interviewed were not happy to learn their phones were collecting any information without their consent.

One shopper called it “sort of a customer-privacy invasion.”

Watch KOIN 6 News’ initial coverage:

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