We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Bath residents tracked by Bluetooth

Big Brother concerns over monitoring scheme

Bath residents are being tracked by Bluetooth technology without their knowledge.

As part of a University of Bath research project that's designed to study how people move around cities, more than 10 Bluetooth scanners were placed in offices, cafes, shops and pubs throughout the city. The scanners track residents by communicating with Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones and laptops.

There are thought to be some 1,000 of the scanners throughout the world after Cityware, the team behind the technology used in the experiment, made the software available through websites including Facebook and Second Life.

According to Cityware, the scanners are not able to personally identify individuals.

Eamonn O'Neill, director of Cityware said: "The objective is not to track individuals, whether by Bluetooth or any other means. We are interested in the aggregate behaviour of city dwellers as a whole."

However, the project has raised a number of privacy concerns and the Information Commissioners' Office said it was "monitoring" the experiment.

Residents that don't want to be spotted by the scanners can simply turn their Bluetooth signals off.

See also: Intel launches Bluetooth-killer

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model