Dangerous Things
Custom gadgetry for the discerning hacker

The Store is now open! Check out the gadgetry »
Like what you're reading?
Share It.

ShopperTrak – RFID people tracking in my local GAP store

I happened to find myself in the local mall the other day and was pulled into The Gap by the horde I happened to be traveling with that day. As we were exiting, I noticed a little ShopperTrak box above the door and snapped a bad, grainy camera-phone photo of it.

Usually these types of things are kept hidden, with only an unmarked smooth circle of plastic flush with the ceiling tile to give away it’s presence. I was actually a little shocked that with all the hubbub going on about RFID and privacy that The Gap would actually place this device right out in the open, especially with a name like ShopperTrak stenciled right on the side in huge letters and oriented toward the exiting shoppers so it’s plainly readable by anyone who cared to glance up. After snapping the photo, I turned around to see if anyone noticed me pausing to point my phone up at the device and wait there to get a pic… and of course, everyone was oblivious. That’s when I remembered that your average Gap shopper is not of the mindset that would care about this kind of thing, let alone be able to gather all the obtuse concepts like wireless unique identification (RFID), shopper privacy invasion, cattle management, etc. in their head while gazing at that box with those nice big letters on it and possibly comprehend what it means.

Hell, just about everyone I run into knows about the little RFID tags sewn into their clothes with the words “remove before wearing”, and yet they still have these tags sitting in just about every piece of clothing they own. I guess that’s the loophole right there… why bother to hide it when nobody cares anyway. By keeping things obvious, privacy advocates don’t really have much ground to stand on when the tags in clothes are hard to miss and have the words “remove before wearing”, and the tracking devices are placed in plain sight and in such a way that any idiot who looked at it could read “ShopperTrak” and be able to figure out they are being tracked somehow.

Tags: ,

One Response to “ShopperTrak – RFID people tracking in my local GAP store”

  1. Amal,

    ShopperTrak cameras do not use RFID to track individuals. They are used to count shoppers entering and exiting stores but do not do so through the use of RFID. Please follow the attached link for further information.



    Brad Oldenburg
    CTO, ShopperTrak RCT

Leave a Reply

Get Adobe Flash player