author photo
By Bruce Sussman
Tue | Feb 12, 2019 | 4:30 AM PST

You already know how it works when you open an app for the first time.

"Would you like to share your location with the app?" is usually a question, followed by options like always, only while using the app, or never.

What the store or restaurant app is really asking: How often can I track and collect data on your location, like big brother?

Now a fascinating investigation by a Minneapolis TV station gives you a new reason to decline an app's request to know where you are if it's not required.

It turns out that protecting your privacy could actually save you money.

Do stores like Target track me?

This came to light, says KARE-11 TV, because of an alert Target shopper who noticed something suspicious and called the station.

Miranda Artz, an avid Target shopper, first noticed this while buying an electric shaver last spring.

“It was $99.99 in the store,” said Artz. “So I bought it.”

But when she walked out to her car, she noticed the product on her Target app now read $69.99.

She got out of the car and went back inside the store.

“By the time I had got to the front of the line with customer service, the app had gone back to $99.99,” said Artz.

She went back to her car again, and the price on the app switched again. This time she took a screenshot on her phone, showed it to customer service and received the discounted price.

She says the same thing happened a few weeks later when the price of a tent she saw on the app went up $40 when she walked into the store.

That is how detailed tracking has become.

And in this case, it turns out maintaining your privacy so the app doesn't know you're near the store could also save you a lot of money.

Check out the station's investigation, called "The Target App Price Switch, What You Need to Know," because it is an intriguing read.

Comments