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News Link • Surveillance

Hundreds Of Bluetooth Beacons Secretly Track New York City Passersby


Update: New York City officials have told Titan to remove its tracking beacons from city phonebooths, Buzzfeed reports. The removal request came just hours after Buzzfeed pubished its story on the beacons.

A company has installed beacons inside hundreds of downtown New York City pay phones that ping the smartphones and tablets of New Yorkers walking by, Buzzfeed reports. Buzzfeed found that the beacons are able to gather information about passersby's locations, the time they passed the beacon, and what websites they visit, among other information. The beacons exchange data over Bluetooth. 

The phonebooth pingers seem to be in a pilot phase. For now, people's devices will only trade data with the beacons if they have certain third-party apps installed and they've checked that they're okay with the apps gathering data about them.

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