Generally speaking, we don't want anyone to track us on our smartphones. Not Google, not the NSA, not Facebook, not marketers and not advertisers. That's why here at Komando.com, we're always giving you tips on how to opt-out of these types of invasive practices. But news breaking today might change that line of thinking, because if there's one thing I hate, it's waiting in line.
Airline passengers at JFK Airport's Terminal 4 who have turned on Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth on their mobile devices will now be tracked in order to receive information on wait times for security lines, Customs, Border Protection checkpoints and even taxi lines.
The wireless beacons scattered throughout the terminal by Blip Systems capture a phone or tablet's MAC address and timestamps. By collecting all this data for everyone in the terminal, the system is able to accurately predict wait times for everyone. Once collected, that data is translated into wait times and displayed on 13 different screens places at various locations throughout the terminal.
Here is what a few of them look like, from the Blip Systems release:
This practice will no doubt bring up some pretty serious privacy issues, I'm sure, as the systems are expected to track around 19.5 million passengers in not only New York, but also in Cincinnati, Toronto, Dublin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Manchester, Dubai, Auckland, Oslo, Helsinki, Milan, Brussels and Copenhagen airports.
But in Cincinnati, benefits of Blip Systems' technology has already been seen. Since last summer when the beacons were installed, the airport was able "to cut queue time by a third by optimizing operations by using the collected data," according to a press release.
What do you think? Is it worth being tracked if you can cut down your wait time? Let me know what you think about the new tracking system by posting in the comments below.