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[liberationtech] Euclid Analytics

Joseph Lorenzo Hall joe at
Fri Jun 21 10:32:02 PDT 2013

Yes, Euclid has been around for a bit, and attracting the ire of US
Senator Al Franken... Franken wrote a letter with a bunch of questions
and Euclid responded. Franken was not impressed:

(links in original)

Sen. Franken Calls for End to Disturbing Consumer Tracking Trend

Tech Firm’s Response to Senator’s Inquiry Confirms Need for Privacy

Monday, April 1, 2013

Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) once again called for an end to
the practice of tracking consumer movements – through stores, within
malls, and even from state to state – all without their permission. Last
month, he pressed a leading analytics firm to stop using technology that
allows it to track people’s smartphone locations without their
permission. Today, he released the company’s response, highlighting the
company’s good faith, but saying it doesn’t go far enough to protect

“People have a fundamental right to privacy, and tracking a consumer's
location and movements without permission violates that right,” said
Sen. Franken. “I believe that Euclid has a sincere desire to protect
consumer privacy, and I'm pleased that they've pledged to do even more –
including a promise to never sell consumer data to data brokers.
However, Euclid's use of opt-out location tracking – regardless of
whether a consumer actually enters a store equipped with this technology
– simply doesn't meet the standard of privacy Americans should be able
to count on. I’m pleased that privacy is a priority for Euclid, but
their continued use of opt-out technology underscores the need for
Congressional action to protect consumer location privacy.”

Euclid, Inc. keeps tabs on consumers as they walk past a store, enter a
store, or move between a store’s floors by tracking a unique and
permanent hardware number transmitted by consumers’ smartphones. Unless
a consumer visits Euclid's website to opt-out of being tracked, their
location is collected without their permission or knowledge.

Sen. Franken’s March letter was prompted by news reports suggesting that
Euclid's technology has used cellphone location technology to track the
shopping habits of approximately 50 million consumers without their
permission. Euclid responded promptly to Sen. Franken’s request,
pledging to protect the privacy of their consumers by:

    Requiring all participating retailers to post signage telling
consumers how to opt-out of tracking;
    Requiring all retailers to undergo a comprehensive education program
about the opt-out process;
    Strengthening the company's privacy policy to prohibit the sale,
rental, or disclosure of any of Euclid’s data to data brokers; and
    Creating a formal policy outlining the company's requirements for a
warrant or court order to comply with any request for data.

In 2011, Sen. Franken introduced the Location Privacy Protection Act to
protect consumer privacy by requiring companies to get permission before
collecting or sharing consumers’ location data. The legislation was
approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in December of 2012, and Sen.
Franken plans to reintroduce it in the coming months.

On 6/21/13 1:06 PM, Daniel Sieradski wrote:
> Has anyone heard about this company Euclid Analytics?
> Apparently they track individual behavior over WIFI by logging your
> phone's MAC address and storing info on where you shop and for how long.  
> --
> Daniel Sieradski
> ds at <mailto:ds at>
> 315.889.1444
> Follow me at
> Public key
> --
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Joseph Lorenzo Hall
Senior Staff Technologist
Center for Democracy & Technology
1634 I ST NW STE 1100
Washington DC 20006-4011
(p) 202-407-8825
(f) 202-637-0968
joe at
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