Woman angry at phoneDo you want your mobile phone to be used to track your presence in a store, how long you stay, where you browse and what displays make you linger—all without your prior knowledge or approval?

That already is happening in merchant locations served by retail-tracking startup Nomi, according to Advertising Age (online registration may be necessary to view). The system currently is tracking such information at stores in New York City.

My concern as a private citizen is that Nomi (“Know Me”–yikes!) has little, if any, notification on consumers’ phones that the tracking is occurring, and consumers are automatically “opted in” to being tracked, according to AdAge.

Until Nomi moves to a system that would provide deals or some other tangible benefit in exchange for the consumers’ opt-in approval–and refrains from automatic opt-in, we have one option to protect our privacy. Click the “Opt Out” option in the footer of the Nomi site and enter your phone’s MAC address to be removed from Nomi’s database.

Don’t know your phone’s MAC address? The opt out link provides other links for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows  7 phones, detailing how to locate your MAC address.

As marketers focus on gathering data on the shopping, viewing and buying habits of consumers, these kind of intrusions into our privacy will continue to creep up. Technology developers like Nomi certainly don’t “know me” if they think I will blindly accept it.

What do you think?