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Thread: New US Toys R Us stores are kind of creepy.

  1. #1
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    New US Toys R Us stores are kind of creepy.

    First they aren't really selling toys or even own their stock. They only lease space in their stores to companies. For example only Lego profits if a Lego product items sells. Toys R Us doesn't collect any money on toy sales. They only make money from leasing space. But that's not the creepy part. That's just weird. The creepy part is they are monitoring and collecting data on shoppers with dozens of sensors located in the stores. What they consider "cadence" and "other metrics" isn't exactly clear. Isn't illegal to gather data on children? Isn't that what youtube got in trouble for?
    Last edited by Werewolf; Dec 5, '19 at 6:01 PM. Reason: typos
    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

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    There is a huge industry that studies people's shopping habits as long as they don't encourage kids online to sign up for things, they should be ok. Every major retailer does such things usually for their own merits but it sounds like TRU has built this into the package.

    The YouTube thing invaded children's privacy, watching what toys they gravitate towards in a store isn't problematic.

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    I think the new concept for Toys R Us (whether it can be financially successful or not) is a brilliant rethink of what a toy store should be in the electronic age. Before they closed, I would take my kids to Toys R Us and walk the aisles for them to make their Christmas lists... and then buy most of the toys online. Rather than trying to compete with Walmart and Amazon, they have found a way to find value in the unique experience they can offer. And it sounds like it will be a really fun experience. They will have a bunch of toys that kids get to try out and play with, rather than just look at the boxes. That sounds really fun to me.

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    Sounds like their business model is collecting and selling data on shoppers. A lot of which are obviously going to be children. They aren't selling toys. They're selling children's data. To me, that's just creepy.

    "Update 12/5/2019, 10:30 a.m.: After making our correction we asked b8ta to further clarify how the data is being collected, how long it’s stored for, and whether shoppers are notified the technology is in use in the stores. They declined to comment."

    https://io9.gizmodo.com/toys-r-us-is...iza-1840202297
    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

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    Perhaps they should pass out cookies and say they are also collecting "cookies." Some sort of disclosure is probably warranted.

    At any rate, glib comments aside, this is as old as retail just now more sophisticated. My dad worked for the same supermarket chain for 43 years and secret shoppers, price matching after snaring info on competitor's ads and specials, and collecting customer data was routine. So was providing samples and selective selling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNGwynne View Post
    Some sort of disclosure is probably warranted.
    I think that would be best. Since toys aren't their product you and your data are. You know, I get in age of twitter and facebook the concept of privacy is all but extinct. Doesn't mean I have to like it or embrace it. Especially when they are gathering data on children.
    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

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    The other thing that occurs to me--and I don't want to seem paranoid but I believe this occurs--is that retailers of any sort are potentially using security cameras for data-gathering: traffic flow, demographics, time studies, browsing patterns. All correlated with sales data from receipts. Honestly it's all "creepy" if we think about it--but we don't because it's not overt. And again, probably nothing new.
    WANTED: Dick Grayson SI trousers; gray AJ Mustang horse; POTA Fortress signal-flasher--top mirrored portion or mirror sticker; POTA Forbidden Zone prison doors, walls, bar; minty Wolfman tights; mint Black Knight sword; minty Launcelot boots; Lion Rock (pale) Dracula & Mummy heads; Lion Rock Franky squared boots; Wayne Foundation blue furniture; Flash Gordon/Ming (10") unbroken holsters; CHiPs gloved arms; POTA T2 tan body; CTVT/vintage Friar Tuck robes, BBP TZ Burgess Meredith glasses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PNGwynne View Post
    The other thing that occurs to me--and I don't want to seem paranoid but I believe this occurs--is that retailers of any sort are potentially using security cameras for data-gathering:
    At least Walmart states cameras are in use. They also do it mostly for watching for crimes like shop lifting. They don't do it to gather and sell children's data by spying on them in the toy department.
    You are a bold and courageous person, afraid of nothing. High on a hill top near your home, there stands a dilapidated old mansion. Some say the place is haunted, but you don't believe in such myths. One dark and stormy night, a light appears in the topmost window in the tower of the old house. You decide to investigate... and you never return...

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    Doesn't it make you nostalgic for the days when Mego didn't even enough data collected to know Mxyzptlk was a poor seller?

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    I agree that their new model is creepy. Then again, I'm the kind of person who doesn't have a facebook account and doesn't sign up for any "loyalty" (aka stalking) programs. I guess that is the way things work now. More money in licensing since they can't compete on price or volume.

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