According to early indications, the European Union is planning to enact tougher laws on those who would track your physical movements by using signals emitted by your cell phone. This has come as welcome news to Europeans, who are eagerly anticipating that in the future, malls and other shopping venues will have to do more than think twice before they install such tracking systems. Indeed, the new regulations may require informed consent from the consumers to be tracked, and on an individual basis. This requirement might make it very difficult for tracking data to be collected and used at all.
U.S. lawmakers have, to date, shown no similar concern about the privacy of cell phone users here. This is a shame because Americans share the concerns of Europeans when it comes to cell phone tracking. Most Americans feel that how long they spend in a particular store is not an appropriate topic for data collections. Nor is the route they take as they meander through a mall, or how long they spend in the food court eating their lunch. Malls feel that the information could be useful to improve the layout and possibly marketing campaigns as it gives data that is more accurate than any that would be self-reported.
Tracking may not be the right thing, but being responsible with your own device certainly is. Whenever you buy a new phone, be sure to look for a cell phone recycle program so you can discard your old one without causing harm to the environment.