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This is an important update to one of the our most popular article series of 2013 entitled, “Is Privacy the New Luxury Expenditure?”  This article is about the challenge of keeping your smartphone privacy-safe, not just your computers. 

Several new startups are popping up that can, through sensors, track your physical location down to the square meter when you have Wi-Fi enabled on your smartphone.  One company has placed sensors in about 200 local businesses in a Canadian city within a one-mile radius that track the whereabouts of shoppers, unknowingly, as they move around town. 

These companies know which gym you frequent, which coffee shops and restaurants you visit, which movies you see, on a certain day. They can sense if you are just window-shopping or if you actually come into the store immediately afterwards. 

It is not just the raw information they glean that is most alarming. It is what the information means.  Algorithms can determine if you are a jogger if they can track your movements across a park between certain times of the day. They can determine where you live based on where you are during the hours when you sleep.  They can determine your age by the hours you spend at a certain school. 

It is one thing for restaurant owners to know how many of their customers in general are from an upscale neighborhood.  It is another if they can identify YOU in particular as living in that neighborhood. 

When you log into “free” Wi-Fi using Facebook, at a coffee shop that subscribes to these marketing services, for example, they do collect your name, your age, your gender, and have access to your social media profile.  By cross-referencing your whereabouts with your PERSONAL profile they can learn way too much without your consent, just by inference! 

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, ask yourself this question: "What if that coffee shop owner is a potential client who is choosing between you and your competition?

Be deliberate about enabling Wi-Fi on your phones.  Understand that when you login to Wi-Fi using Facebook that you might be giving personal information away. This information may be innocuous in and of itself. But, it can also be analyzed and aggregated by powerful computers that correlate this information with data about your whereabouts at certain times that accurately yields additional meanings. 

And, remember that privacy is indeed a luxury.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace. 

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