I’ll be watching you

I was reading with interest about TfL’s plans for tracking passenger movement throughout the London Underground via WiFi and MAC addresses. I got to wondering about how this would even work with MAC address randomisation. With some further research it seems to have been implemented extremely poorly — at least in previous versions of iOS; I have no idea how effective it is these days.

On the same day, Google announced an expansion to their previous harvesting of location data, with new real-time tracking of how busy locations are, just in time for the annual disgusting displays of consumerism, a.k.a. Black Friday. Mass triangulation to gauge footfall is nothing new of course, but adding immediacy to the availability of the data adds an interesting dimension.

Of course, this data is all anonymised and of great potential usefulness — if not abused. I just wonder how many people are aware that it’s even happening.

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