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When you're being tracked by a smart trashcan, shouldn't you have to opt in first?

Are you being tracked by a recycling bin? If you’re a smartphone user who traverses certain parts of London, that rather insane proposition is actually reality. And telling the bin to stop tracking you isn’t a straightforward affair.In the run-up to last year’s Olympics, 100 recycling bins with advertising screens were installed in the City of London (the financial district) by a startup called Renew. As Quartz reported on Thursday, 12 of these “Renew Pods” were recently fitted with “Renew ORB” devices that use Wi-Fi to sniff out certain information from passing smartphones, namely proximity, speed, duration and manufacturer. The manufacturer is gleaned from the smartphone’s MAC address, which acts as an identifier for the mobile device.The idea here, according to a Renew statement, is to “measure variables in market share between mobile handheld providers within the City’s Square Mile — the highest concentration of professionals in Europe.” According to the Quartz report, this information would then be sold to advertisers to help them target their campaigns: high-value goods for iPhone users, and so on.The analytics and reporting piece of this puzzle comes from a company called Presence Orb. If you don’t want to be tracked by a recycling bin, Presence Orb has an online opt-out form that states (pardon the grammatical errors):

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09 Aug
O'Reilly Radar @radar
RT @mikeloukides: Spying by smart trashcans? http://t.co/SROj7HEGGc