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Ubiquitous Surveillance + Advertising?
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
I just got a robo-call ad from Marriott Hotels. I don't get many such calls, so this was unusual to start with. But then it occurred to me -- I was physically inside a Marriott for a few hours on Monday. Did some system note my presence (or at least the presence of my phone number), and therefore figure I was a reasonable marketing target?

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Many commercial establishments use your phones search for wi-fi to track your phone's visits to the store, movement through the store, and whether the phone is near a cash register when a purchase is made.

Sometimes stores respond differently to customers, if they are "near" a phone that shops often at that store.

If there is a database which maps wi-fi identifiers to phone numbers somewhere (and who thinks there isn't), that might explain the contact.

Could also be coincidence, or perhaps you used a credit card while visiting that hotel. Which is a simpler explanation.

Coincidence is not out of the question, but I used no credit card.

Every time I think, "Maybe I should join the 21st century and upgrade to a smart phone", something like this comes up.

Not to worry; the face recognition software is getting good enough to close the gap...

I got such a call last night, and I haven't been in a Marriott in a year or two. I've been *near* two, because I work in Kendall Square; but I don't search for WiFi (open WiFi is dangerous), and anyway, the call was on my landline. I think it was just ordinary spam.

Thanks, that makes me feel better.

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