Retail / eCom

Big Retail Is Watching You: Exposing Walmart's Massive Data Collection Schemes

Outside of its growing reputation for poverty wages, worker intimidation and an overall culture of employee repression, a new report released Wednesday reveals that retail giant Walmart is also throwing its weight behind a massive consumer tracking effort with particular implications for people of color.

Authored by a coalition of consumer rights and social justice groups, the report, Consumers, Big Data and Online Tracking in the Retail Industry: A Case Study of Walmart (pdf), examines many of the ways in which large retailers—with a particular focus on Walmart—collect consumer data through mobile devices and online activity and use that information to “tease out meaningful patterns,” as noted by a November 2011 Walmart blog post.

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