Bluetooth beacons are one of the latest pieces of equipment designed to track your cell phone. In New York city many phone booths that have been or will be converted to WiFi hotspots are already attracting advertisers and who knows who else because of their ability to follow your phone and your browsing habits in real time. While most of us stopped using phone booths a long time ago one has to wonder if maybe they would have been a better option when a private telephone conversation is desired.
In London many old booths are being converted into charging stations for cell phones. This seems like a great idea and far more environmentally friendly than just tearing them down and dumping them in a landfill somewhere. Unfortunately it looks like there is just as much potential for devious uses as there are for green ones when it comes to pay phone booths. One company has already started installing these beacons in phone booths that track smartphones as they travel throughout the area.
These beacons work by utilizing Bluetooth technology which can be found in just about any cell phone manufactured within the last ten years. By downloading certain applications it is possible to enable these beacons when agreeing to the terms of service also know as the EULA. Unless you are a lawyer and have a lot of extra time on your hands it is highly unlikely that you will read these terms. Most people simply click on the agree box without reading any of the information above it. In doing so you have most likely agreed to a whole lot of invasive terms that the software creator requested. This is never a good idea but the fact of the matter is that few of us ever take the time to read these terms and technically we are still agreeing to them leaving us little in the way of legal recourse should our right to privacy be breached.
A company called Titan had installed this controversial software and was recently asked by City Hall to remove it from their applications. You can read more about it here.