New questions are arising about how much privacy you'll have on London's underground trains. "For a month at the end of last year, Wi-fi signals were used to track passenger journeys across the network
," writes Gizmodo. "The idea is that as we travel across the Tube network, Wi-fi beacons in stations would detect the unique ID -- the MAC address -- of our phones, tablets and other devices -- even if we're not connected to the Tube's wifi network." The only way to opt-out is to turn off your phone's Wi-Fi. An anonymous reader writes:
London is struggling with the transport network capacity so the ability to learn commuters' travel patterns is compelling... Now it emerged that TfL, the operator of London Subway system, is planning to use the system to monetize passengers' data. TfL is also not ruling out sharing the data with third-parties in future.
More information shows that the privacy protection could not be as good as TfL maintains, with reversible hashing and options of giving data to law enforcement. A privacy engineering expert points out additional issues in pseudonymisation scheme and communication inconsistencies. Final deployment has been initially scheduled to start in end of 2017.
"Once the tools are in place, there will inevitably be a temptation to make use of them," warns Engadget, raising the possibility of the data's use for advertising
-- or even the availability to law enforcement of location data for every passenger.