Advertising Billboards are designed to make you look at them. With dazzling graphics and catchy messaging, they attract your attention and draw you in. But now, it looks like billboards are spying on us.
That’s the fear of privacy experts who warn that companies are monitoring consumers, pulling private information from their smartphones as they pass by their modern electronic advertising signs.
Some of today’s high-tech billboards, in use by companies like Clear Channel Outdoor, employ something called RADAR technology, which collects data that are used to target advertising to individuals. It’s like clicking on an item online and having its ad follow you as you browse.
RADAR measures consumers’ real world travel patterns and behaviors as they move through their day. Clear Channel says the data come from a third party - like your cellphone provider - and it’s all anonymous.
That’s not good enough for some lawmakers. New York senator Chuck Schumer is calling for a federal investigation into the practice, warning “your every movement could be tracked, recorded and stored.”
Here’s the bottom line, a personal phone should be just that - personal. It shouldn’t be a James Bond-like tracking device for a corporation.
We live in a world where we’re always being tracked- online, on our phones and now - passively, when we’re not actively using our devices.
That’s something to remember the next time you pass a billboard at the mall, at the airport or even Times Square.
And, just one more thing - it’s relatively easy to prevent your phone from being tracked by these spying billboards. Click here to learn more about supercookies.