What’s the News?
Nomi’s Tracking Technology
Nomi’s “Listen” service offers brick and mortar retailers the ability to track the movements of individuals in and around stores, providing these retailers with insights into consumer trends and patterns. Through a beacon placed inside retail stores, Nomi collects information emitted from consumers’ wireless devices, such as Smartphones or tablets, as they search for nearby WiFi networks. When searching for a wireless signal, devices broadcast a 12-digit identifier, known as a MAC address. Although Nomi scrambles the MAC address prior to storing it on its server, the result is still a unique identifier for each wireless device, permitting individualized customer tracking. Nomi uses this process to provide retailers with various consumer analytics, including the average duration of customer visits, the number of customers who pass by the store without entering, the percentage of repeat customers within a given time period, and the number of customers who also visit nearby stores.
The FTC Complaint and Settlement
In addition to imposing certain disclosure and reporting requirements, the FTC order approving the settlement also enjoins Nomi from engaging in any misrepresentations about either the extent to which consumers exercise control over their tracking services or the extent to which they will be given notice about such tracking.