“Consumers should be aware when they’re in a zone that projects beacons”

Gimbal’s privacy policy says Gimbal-powered apps may collect your current location, the time of day you passed the beacon, and details about your device. These apps may also, under certain circumstances, collect data about the websites you visit, the apps on your phone, and the “frequency and duration of app usage.” The policy says that app-usage and website-visit data are not sent to Gimbal’s servers.

Gimbal COO Kevin Hunter said through a spokeswoman that the company only provides clients with “aggregated, anonymized data.” Indeed, Gimbal does not collect names, email addresses, or other personally identifiable information. But the company’s software, with users’ permission, can collect a remarkably detailed suite of information.

Gimbal has advertised its “Profile” service. For consumers who opt in, the service “passively develops a profile of mobile usage and other behaviors” that allow the company to make educated guesses about their demographics (“age, gender, income, ethnicity, education, presence of children”), interests (“sports, cooking, politics, technology, news, investing, etc”), and the “top 20 locations where [the] user spends time (home, work, gym, beach, etc.).”