Saving throwaway data

SOME of the City’s shiny recycling bins are collecting more than just your well-thumbed copies of City A.M.

Experiments by Renew, the firm behind the bins and their network of 200 digital screens, used some units on Cheapside this June to track the City’s smartphones.

The Renew Orb technology used Mac codes to capture the movement, type, direction and speed of more than half a million unique devices every 50th of a second.

However, according to business news website Quartz, Renew does not violate any rules on privacy: data is kept carefully anonymous.

Renew’s plans to “cookie the street” seem likely to impress advertisers hungry for consumer data, but City workers who would rather not be tracked on their way to pick up a lunchtime sandwich can simply keep their wifi switched off in transit or visit: www.presenceorb.com/optout.aspx

Cally Squires is away