Why you really shouldn’t worry about in-store beacons
When it comes to wireless tracking and electronic spying, paranoia is often the right response. Not always, though. Case in point: The rather hysterical flap over beacons, which use Bluetooth technology to detect nearby mobile devices and deliver advertisements and other related content. You’d think the little devices were something out of a sci-fi movie, ready to track your every move and send the data to the Dark Powers that be.
Thankfully, that’s not the case, despite some wildly exaggerated reports. Beacons are one-way devices that send you information based on your location, but they don’t store your data or send it anywhere. They won’t even ping you unless you download specific apps and authorize them to communicate with beacons. That’s the good news. The bad news is that beacons work directly with those apps, and the software could do something you won’t like with your data.