A recent announcement from Snapchat explained that company will now use location data from Foursquare to better target their geofilters. Foursquare boasts that they have mapped over 90 million locations: stores, restaurants, theaters, and more. Additionally, they track customer phones as they move through these locations. For companies and brands using geofilters, that means they can target specific stores instead of an entire mall or a portion of an arena instead of the whole venue.
To a marketer this sounds great. More data points, specific information about where customers shop, and the ability to better target the customers you want to reach. But to customers, this sounds terrible; yet another example of being tracked to the point that an analyst will know what stores you visit most and even what aisles you spend the most time in.
So, what are customers to do? Give up and let it happen, push back and attempt to live a life devoid of trackable technology, some combination of the two? In reality, the onus of handling personal data responsibly should be taken more seriously by businesses.
The more personal data that is tracked and used in selling practices, the more it will become clearer how companies are using the information they collect. Customers will then have to decide if they want to continue doing business with those companies or find some other way to illustrate their dissatisfaction with the use of their personal information.