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In California, shoppers value their privacy

By Don-Alvin Adegeest



If you walk into a store these days, without or without the intention to purchase, chances are there is technology in place to monitor what you are browsing, assess your location – if you have a smartphone – and cameras to deduce your age group, gender and anything else that could be useful to analyze shopper behaviour.

In California, a new state law came into effect in 2020 that requires businesses to disclose what personal information they collect from consumers at or before the time it is collected, such as clear signage at entry. This means shoppers have the right to request which data is collected about them and for it to be deleted and forbid a business from selling it.

Called the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), technology publication Wired states the law also applies to offline data collection. According to Wired, California’s law defines personal information to include data about a household, which GDPR does not. CCPA also requires companies to disclose details of how they sell personal data and allow consumers to opt out of any sales, using a broad definition of “sell” that includes trading data for anything of value.

And it is not just privacy from invading tech that customers value. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, shoppers prefer a certain level of privacy when they are in store, and they want to have control over that privacy. This translates into a preference for being left alone, but also to be able to get assistance if and when needed. Hovering sales assistants negatively influence shopping behaviour : shoppers are 25 percent less likely to purchase an item if they feel another person is too close to them.

No-one likes to be spied on in store, neither by pushy personnel or hidden tech.

Image via Pexels

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