The bins have ears

In another blow to privacy, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that shopping centres and street side rubbish bins are tracking us.

Rubbish bins tracking pedestrians as they walk along the street sound like something out of a sci-fi movie. But a few weeks ago it emerged that recycling and rubbish bins installed along London’s Cheapside Street were monitoring pedestrians through millions of smartphones.

However, it’s not just the residents of London that need to be aware of this.

Australia’s Westfield already uses this technology to track smartphones at three shopping centres. ”Westfield is capable of using the MAC identifier system in its centres but cannot collect any data other than to know smartphones are moving within,” a company spokeswoman said.

Westfield offers free internet access in three centres across Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Visitors can opt in to the service but Westfield can also monitor the movements of smartphones without the owners logging in to its wi-fi network.

Its privacy policy states it collects information ”where devices are able to connect to, or are identifiable by, in-centre infrastructure” and that it uses ”this information so that we can tell … where shoppers spend most of their time”.

Read the whole article here.

Facebook tracking, even offline

Lifehacker has published a post on how you can opt out of Facebook’s way of tracking you , even when you’re offline. They explain:

Facebook has started working with a data mining service to pair together your email address and other information stored on Facebook with advertising products to see what (and if) you’re clicking on ads… the way this data collection works is that it compares your online data with offline shopping habits. So, the easiest solution to keep it from happening? Don’t use the same phone number or email address on your Facebook account as you do when you sign up for loyalty or discount cards.

Read the whole post here, which also explains how to block  Facebook cookies from distributing your data to third parties.

Facebook tracking

Late last week, Business Insider reported on the extent of Facebook tracking and how it’s pervading the lives of Facebook devotees:

Facebook really is watching your every move online.

In testing out a new diagnostic tool called Abine DNT+, we noticed that Facebook has more than 200 “trackers” watching our internet activity…. Critics call this spying. Advertisers call it targeting.

Read the whole article here.

How to delete your Google browsing history before new policy kicks in

As mentioned previously, Google are changing their privacy policy in 1 March. The Digital Journal explains how to easily delete your browsing history and how to keep any new browsing from being tracked by Google.

I was easily able to follow the steps they outlined to delete my history. Read the brief article here.