Smart Trash Cans Track Passers By

UK startup Renew is equipping a few of London’s Renew Pods with “Renew Orbs” which use WiFi to track the proximity and speed of people walking past and identify the maker of their smartphone. The company allows clients to use the trash cans to construct statistical analyses on ‘trending demographics’ in high profile locations – for example, many iPhone users walk down a specific block. Many Londoners will be shocked to find out that this is actually happening without their permission, raising the same privacy issues as many other forms of tracking softwares. So it won’t be surprising to read about backlash against this software and tracking in the name of targeting advertising.