Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has quietly given approval for a massive new. and permanent, data collection program that will keep track of just about everyone who enters the city.
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The smooth, perforated sheaths of metal are decorative, but their job is to protect and conceal a system of data-collection sensors that will measure air quality, light intensity, sound volume, heat, precipitation and wind. The sensors will also count people by measuring wireless signals on mobile devices.
Some experts caution that efforts like the one launching here to collect data from people and their surroundings pose concerns of a Big Brother intrusion into personal privacy.
Ya think? Not to worry. The experts are assuring that nothing can go wrong:
In particular, sensors collecting cellphone data make privacy proponents nervous. But computer scientist Charlie Catlett said the planners have taken precautions to design their sensors to observe mobile devices and count contact with the signal rather than record the digital address of each device.
How difficult do you think it will be to turn sophisticated tracking features on? It’s a brave new world, and it’s being recorded.