Stores tracking shoppers moves, habits using WiFi signals

File photo: Associated Press

Forget the idea that Big Brother is watching you - big retail is keeping its eye on you as well.

The Orwellian idea of the places you shop tracking your movements and shopping habits while you're in store isn't a new phenomenon, the New York Times reports, and it's actually gaining steam.

High-profile retailers, including Cabela's, Family Dollar and Nordstrom, have tested technology that uses the WiFi signal from your cell phone to see how people move around their brick-and-mortar stores. Many companies who run such technology liken it to the way online stores are able to track user browsing habits.

"Brick-and-mortar stores have been disadvantaged compared with online retailers, which get people's digital crumbs," Guido Jouret, an executive at California-based Cisco Systems, told the Times.