Monday 21 November 2016

TfL To Track The Phones Of London Underground Passengers


If you like to using Wi-Fi on the Tube then chances are your phone will be tracked by Transport for London.

From Monday, the transport authority will monitor WiFi connection request data of London Underground passengers as part of a four week trial.

Before you get too panicked the information is depersonalised and your browsing data wont be collected – and you can always just turn your WiFi off.

None of the data will be passed on to third parties either.

TfLsays it is carrying out the trial to better understand customer journeys and potentially improve services, like travel information.

It explained: 'The trial will work by collecting Wi-Fi connection requests from mobile devices as customers pass through stations.

'When a device has Wi-Fi enabled, it will continually search for a Wi-Fi network by sending out a unique identifier – known as a Media Access Control address – to nearby routers.'

Data available to TfL at present means it could only record when someone enters and exits a station.

Shashi Verma, chief technology officer, said: 'This short trial will help us understand whether WiFi connection data could help us plan and operate our transport network more effectively for customers.

'Historically, if we wanted to know how people travelled we would have to rely on paper surveys and manual counting, which is expensive, time consuming and limited in detail and reliability.

'We hope the results of this trial will enable us to provide customers with even better information for journey plans.'



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