- 11:37 am - Fri, Aug 16, 2013
- 126 notes
Public recycling bins sound great — but what if they’re gathering data about you, and potentially using it for advertising purposes? Check this out:
Recycling bins in the City of London know what you’re doing. They are absorbing information about you through your smartphone and then using that data to advertise to you on your walk about town. Cyberpunk? Maybe. Weird and creepy? Absolutely.
London-based marketing company Renew is responsible for these intelligent recycling units. Each bin is connected to the Internet and has a screen that delivers news, public information, and advertising to passersby.
While some of the company’s units were in place prior to last year’s summer Olympics, it wasn’t until mid-June when Renew began testing its smartphone targeting service, Renew ORB. The tracking technology within the bins notes a mobile phone or other Wi-Fi enabled device’s MAC address, which is “a unique value associated with a network adapter.”
Once a bin recognizes your phone, it begins collecting demographic information about you. As you approach other bins of the same ilk, it will target appropriate marketing materials to you based on the acquired data.
More: London’s New Recycling Bins Will Be Watching Every Step You Take | Motherboard