San Francisco Chain Shop Vows to Stop Tracking Customers' Devices

Philz Coffee ends relationship with analytics firm

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    File image.

    One large coffee, hold the scanning of my electronic device.

    Popular Bay Area coffee chain Philz Coffee has ended its relationship with an analytics company that was scanning and keeping track of mobile devices with WiFi, according to reports.

    The San Francisco Appeal online newspaper first reported that Philz had partnered with Euclid Elements to take note of customers' "dwell time" -- that is, how long someone hangs out with a laptop over a nice cup of coffee.

    Philz had put up notices in its locations informing visitors that Euclid had devices monitoring "the frequency and duration" of Wi-Fi-connected cell phones, tablets and laptops set up shop in its coffee shops, the newspaper reported. Every time a Wi-Fi device would look for a signal, the Euclid monitoring device would take note.

    These "tracking" devices did not pull any personal information since their introduction in 2012, according to the company.

    But Philz decided to pull them this week over questions of privacy, the newspaper reported.