‘Smart bins’ removed from City of London streets

Jordan O'Brien
August 12, 2013

It was revealed last week that a fleet of ‘smart bins’ dotted around the City of London were recording data from over 4m phones a week — sparking a huge privacy debate.

The bins were installed by a startup called Renew London who had hoped that the bins would become prime advertising real estate, as it was able to tailor make the ads for the types of people walking past.

The company’s CEO defended the technology after a backlash by saying that the data collected was “anonymised” and that is was not planning on collecting any personal data.

Now the City of London Corporation has gotten involved removing the twelve bins from across the square mile.

What’s more is that all trials of the technology have been suspended, with the Information Commissioner’s Office now getting involved to see if there are any privacy concerns.

Whether this spells the end to ‘smart bins’ remain to be seen. It’s likely that we’ll see more technology like this in the future, but the privacy debate is going to continue to heat up.

What do you think. Are you concerned about your privacy with this kind of tech or is it the future?

About the Author

Jordan O'Brien

Technology Journalist with an unhealthy obsession with trains and American TV. Attempts satire far too often. (+44) 020 7324 3502

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