Thursday29 September 2022

Smart garbage cans to violate your privacy

Reading time is around minutes.

100 "smart garbage cans" were placed during the Olympics 2012 in London that are having screens on which various listings are displayed. These days the company Renew upgraded bucket system called Renew Presence ORB, which detects pedestrians and users of smartphones and tablets with WiFi turned on.


Although the company claims that this was done in order to test the system to obtain demographic data and information gathering, where and how most people gather, how many times you go near the same location, and the proportion of devices of various operating systems (Android, iOS ..) among Londoners, we all know that it is a test of another kind of location-oriented marketing services, which in the future will serve to show users targeted ads based on the information collected about their habits and movements.

Presence ORB - Renew Technologies (R&D) from Renew on Vimeo.

In other words, the system is able to recognize the unique identification number of the device, the manufacturer and model of the smart phone, the user's route, speed of movement, the place where he stays and will record each time a person finds himself in the same spot the next day or the next month.

When the system is used for the purpose of advertising, it would function as a kind of cookie we have in browsers. For example, if the bucket is near an Porsche automobile showroom, and states that user is often coming in front of the shopwindow, it will show on its screen ads which will run discounts on the latest model of Porsche and invite you to enter the salon to see what is the "special offer" just for you, because the system decided that you are interested in that automobile manufacturer.

Although Renew says that users in London will be able to opt out from being monitored by the have Presence ORB system and their data will not be sent to their database, we all know what's coming. It may sound strange, but it looks like our privacy will soon be violated even by the garbage cans.

[Ed - We just have to say that there are some things that are just plain wrong. This type of monitoring is one of them and to put it in a garbage can... well that makes it even worse.]

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Last modified on Monday, 12 August 2013 21:00

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