PRINCESSHAY bosses have moved to reassure shoppers after it emerged a hi-tech system is used to track footfall through the centre via signals from customers' mobile phones.
Information about pedestrian flows is used to monitor the popularity of certain areas, as well as to improve safety and security.
But centre managers have stressed that all information gathered about shoppers' movements is anonymous.
It comes after privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch raised concerns about the system, claiming shoppers had not been asked permission for the centre to collect the data.
The FootPath technology has been used in Princesshay since 2008.
Wayne Pearce, Princesshay centre director, said: "The system we use detects transmissions from mobile phones and locates those mobile phones in 3D space.
"At no time does this provide any personal information and that includes mobile phone numbers. At all times shoppers remain anonymous to us.
"The anonymous data we receive each week allows us to monitor footfall and the way in which shoppers use the centre.
"This in turn helps us make decisions on improving the mix of retailers, providing better service by deploying greater numbers of staff to meet shoppers' needs and helping avoid bottlenecks by improving the safety and layout."