From the editor

Somebody's watching me

March 23, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


Most consumers are aware that video cameras are stationed in stores to prevent and track theft. And, largely, they’re OK with that. 

But I wonder whether they’ll feel the same when they read this New York Times article and begin to realize that the cameras, along with new technologies like facial recognition software that have cropped up in recent years, are being used to analyze their behavior and expressions as they enter stores, navigate the aisles and make product selections.

Privacy advocates are already sounding the alarm, saying such technology can be used to identify and track specific individuals and gather more information about them. "I think it is absolutely inevitable," says Katherine Albrecht, founder of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN), an advocacy group. There’s also the argument that shoppers who are aware they are being monitored will act differently, and the research findings won’t necessarily hold up. 

Despite the concerns, the Times reports that companies supplying these shopper marketing services are enjoying stellar business. But is there a risk in such intimate observations in a climate where consumers are increasingly more sensitive about being "marketed to" and more demanding of transparency? Or will shoppers simply accept these techniques as part of 21st century life?

Until you’re clear on how much your shoppers value their privacy, and how far you can take your observations and data collection, it’s best to proceed carefully, with great sensitivity and caution (better disclosure is just one of the recommendations in a report from the World Privacy Forum). Otherwise, you run the risk of alienating the very shoppers you’re trying to understand.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to BRAND PACKAGING Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

10th Annual Packaging That Sells Conference, Chicago, October 2012

Posted Date: October 29, 2013

BRANDPACKAGING’s packaging conference returned for a tenth year with a focus on a single message: Make It Matter.

2/12/14 2:00 pm EST

Packaging Matters™: A study on packaging’s impact on shopping behavior, product satisfaction and trends in the global marketplace

On-Demand Packaging Matters™ is MWV’s study of the role of packaging in product satisfaction.  In its second iteration, the research has expanded to 10 markets: China, India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, U.K., Germany, Japan and the U.S. We study packaging because it matters to brand owners, retailers and consumers around the world. Packaging impacts shopping behavior, influences product satisfaction and motivates consumers in global markets in different ways.

Brand Packaging Magazine

brand packaging april 2014

April 2014

The April 2014 issue examines the topic of "Green Fatigue."  You can also read the issue at the Digital Editions.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE BRAND PACKAGING STORE

BP_DG_2013Cover.gif
Design Gallery Volume 11

Design Gallery Volume 11 is not just a study in good design. It’s a look at how packaging can successfully demonstrate structural and graphic innovation, make strong shelf impact, meet consumer, shopper and retailer needs and support and convey the brand story

More Products

SDG

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png  youtube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png