Big Brother is Watching You ... Shop

At least this can be said of the decision by operators of The Promenade at Temecula to track Black Friday shoppers via their mobile phones:

At least they aren't using the technology only to track black people.

Back in the day--but not anymore, right guys--African Americans were closely monitored at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Dorsey Watson related to the Los Angeles Times in 1985 how he was waiting at the Fashion Island bus stop when he was approached by a plainclothes officer who proceeded to search him and the Igloo cooler he was carrying. Having just been paid, Watson had $400 in cash on him--and some marijuana. He was suspected of being a drug dealer and was hauled off to jail.

Indeed, Newport Beach cops used to have a special radio code--but not anymore, right guys--known as "NIN."

Short for nigger in Newport.

Fast-forward to today, and Temecula's mall operators say they simply want to monitor how shoppers flow through the facility, according to a Fox 5 TV news report from that chunk of Riverside County. The mall plans on using your cell phone signals to monitor just how many people are shopping--and where they're going. The all-new practice won't infringe on anyone's privacy rights--because the mall says it won't.

Judge, jury: meh.

Operators say the data collected will help them re-design a better Promenade at Temecula, but some shoppers admit to the TV journos they feel a bit uneasy about being tracked like sheep.

Certain shoppers will feel uneasier if they hear over a mall cop's two-way, "NIT."


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >