Tag: Surveillance

Ad companies want to track you with drones for “consumer insights and targeting”

Ad companies want to track you with drones for “consumer insights and targeting”

February 24, 2015 16:57 | By | Add a Comment

Aren’t ads amazing? Don’t you love watching those clips on youtube, you know, the ones that come before the actual video unless you employ an adblocker?

No? Things will get worse for you then, if AdNear has their way. They plan to use drones to track wireless devices to build customer profiles. Flying over cities and other populated areas, they want to collect everything from WiFi access points to mobile phones, including their location and movement patterns. So essentially, they want to do mass surveillance without your consent.

AdNear is quick to state that, “Privacy and legal compliance are of highest importance to us. Just to keep the record straight; we only collect signals passively and do not record videos or photos.

Trouble is, that statement doesn’t mean a thing, and doesn’t change the fact that both the legality and morality of this endeavour are questionable at best. AdNear has already conducted tests, according to their own statements, and it would be interesting to know whether these tests were already observing all the applicable laws. They’re not having that discussion in their cheerful press release however.

For brands, this would mean more data points for accurate audiences and more location points for consumer insights and targeting. For us, this means a ton of fun!

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UAE plans to introduce drones for official document delivery, public surveillance

UAE plans to introduce drones for official document delivery, public surveillance

February 12, 2014 10:44 | By | Add a Comment

Dubai is a place of extremes, and their policy on drones reflects that. They recently announced plans to start using drones for various uses, including “delivery of official documents” while also able to check the receiver identity via fingerprint reading, as well as “infrastructure monitoring” (aka surveillance) via high resolution cameras.

The former is not very realistic for the same reasons that Amazon’s PR stunt was little more than just that, but the latter is of course where the meat is – after all, drone surveillance is Orwell’s wet dream come true.

Full press release after the break.

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Deutsche Bahn not allowed to fly anti-graffiti drone during nighttime

Deutsche Bahn not allowed to fly anti-graffiti drone during nighttime

December 1, 2013 12:00 | By | Add a Comment

Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) recently bought several commercial multicopter equipped with night vision cameras for the purpose of detecting graffiti sprayers during the night. What sounds like a fun pasttime for troubled youth actually causes damages of up to 7.6 million Euros each year for Deutsche Bahn alone. Keeping that price tag in mind, spending EUR 50,000.- per drone sounds like peanuts in comparison.

Turns out it was all for naught, as german Aviation Safety Authority put a stop to this endeavor, forcing the railway company to stop all flights during night time. Unfortunately this makes the whole thing pointless, as graffiti sprayers mostly come out at night. Mostly.

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