Tuesday, August 13, 2013

This is not at all alarming.

Garbage cans that track your cellphone as you walk by. I kid you not.

The City of London Corporation has asked a company to stop using recycling bins to track the smartphones of passers-by.

Renew London had fitted devices into 12 "pods", which feature LCD advertising screens, to collect footfall data by logging nearby phones.

Chief executive Kaveh Memari said the company had "stopped all trials in the meantime".

The corporation has taken the issue to the Information Commissioner's Office.

The action follows concerns raised by privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, after details of the technology used in the bins emerged in the online magazine Quartz.

Somebody thought this would be an ok idea for a city-owned service. Somebody needs to be FIRED and never work in government again, IMHO.

Pull the battery out of your phone unless you're talking on it.

The Phantom


WiFi Lunchbox Guy said...

This thing sounds similar to a "smart meter", being some type of SoC using netcat to collect MAC addresses and sending that info to a database somewhere in GCHQ's server room.

Of course, we Phantom fans would never be unmutual enough to suggest these boxes sound repurposable, or that home-made replicas could yield interesting data...

The Phantom said...

Oh, I haven't even gotten to the black hat hijacking of this shit. Just the thing itself doing what it was designed to do is bad enough, without enumerating the wide variety of ways they could be perverted to serve criminals.

And as you say, these kinds of things are NEVER locked down right. Smart Meters being the archetypal example.

WiFi Lunchbox Guy said...

Speaking of hijacking, here is one more reason why you don't want a sparky car.

Or a Ford.

black mamba said...

I've never had a cellphone. (I don't want to talk to people.) This has always been considered very eccentric of me.

Well now who's the gibbering retard, eh?

The Phantom said...

Pretty soon uncooperative people like you will have a "cellphone" whether you like it or not.

Paid for by people like me, we may be sure. Whether I like it or not.

Kinda puts the Obamaphone thing in a new light though, eh? Cheaper than an ankle bracelet, and the rubes won't try to saw them off.

WiFi Lunchbox Guy said...

Actually, they won't need the cellphone once they wire students with bracelets that track emotional responses to educational materials. (at around 12.5 minutes in or so)
The Google Voight-Kampff test is just as scary.

The Phantom said...

Hey, WiFi. Excellent linkage there.

I can't even think up how much damage a guy could do if he hijacked the Google Glass pay-per-gaze thing. But what's really chilling is the use of a thing like that by government to measure a person's response to their propaganda.

As in, if you don't experience the proper swelling of pride when you see the Big Brother poster, your Google Glass/galvanic skin response device administers a shot of something that conveniently kills you deader than a mackerel.