Billboard companies have been tracking people’s movements through smartphone apps in order to optimize advertising locations. New York Senator Charles Schumer is calling for a federal investigation into Clear Channel Outdoor Americas’ “spying billboards,” warning the service may violate privacy rights by tracking people’s cell phone data. “A person’s cellphone should not become a James Bond-like personal tracking device for a corporation to gather information about consumers without their consent,” Schumer said in a statement. There was a planned news conference today in Times Square, where the company operates many of these “Spying billboards.”
The company, which operates more than 675,000 billboards throughout the world, argues that characterization of its program is inaccurate, insisting it only uses anonymous data collected by other companies. In a statement, company spokesman Jason King said the RADAR program is based on an established advertising technique that ‘uses only aggregated and anonymized information’ from other companies that certify they’re following consumer protection standards.
I for one think this should be eliminated. We should be able to walk our streets without the fear of being watched and tracked.