City of London to stop ad firm from using spy cans in trash cans
August 13 , 2013
An advertising firm, which uses spy cams to track people walking through the financial district in London, have been demanded to stop.
The Renew ad firm has been using the Wi-Fi signals emitted by people's smartphones in order to "cookie the street". This program makes it possible for the firm to capture serial numbers and analyze signal strength. It is not clear how the firm plans to use the data but it could use the information to attract people to particular places depending on their habits and schedule.
A statement from the City of London Corporation said "anything that happens like this on the streets needs to be done carefully, with the backing of an informed public."
Renew had tested the technology using a number of trash cans in May but the story didn't get attention until last week. It's Chief Executive Kavesh Memari said the media coverage of the sky trash cans has been breathless. "A lot of what had been extrapolated is capabilities that could be developed and none of which are workable right now."