City of London bans data tracking bins

The City of London Corporation has reported Renew, a marketing company operating recycling bins, to the Information Commissioner's Office for collecting data from passing smartphones.

The London-based company, which owns 200 digital screens in the City of London broadcasting breaking news and advertising, used tracking devices hidden in its screens to log WiFi-enabled devices.

The information gathered was then used to create a report every three minutes on the amount of footfall there was on each of the sites.

The City of London Corporation, which looks after the financial and commercial Square Mile, told Renew on Monday to immediately stop the data collection. It has also taken the issue to the ICO.

Kaveh Memari, the chief executive at Renew, said in a statement released after the ban that the process was very much like a website.

Memari said: "You can tell how many hits you have had and evaluate repeat visitors, but we cannot tell anything personal about any of the visitors on the website."

He added only a "limited number of pods" were used and said the Media Access Control addresses (of the devices) were "annonymised and aggregated".

Renew called the technology it used to track the data Orb, and a description of it at the time of launch on Renew's website said it provided "real-time information of flow patterns and behaviour in the City".

Memari said that its use of the Orb technology has now ceased and that tracking is no longer operational on the sites were the technology is installed.

Renew launched the Orb technology in June this year and was trialling the technology at the time of the complaints.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage