Titan installed about 500 iBeacons inside the phone booths around Manhattan without any permission from the public. Titan is an outdoor media company that sells advertisement space on phone booths and kiosks in New York.
This installation allows the company to track the location and data activity of the users’ smartphone nearby the iBeacons. The company installed the iBeacons between September and November 2013.
However, now New York has ordered to remove the iBeacons since there are doubtful transparency about the exact purposes of the installation. New York City people may feel concern about the privacy and authorization issues.
The New York City Department of Information and Telecommunications approved the installation because Titan said that it was using for maintenance purposes. Moreover, someone who responsible for the company said that it is just a testing phase. which means primarily for “inventory management”.
Privacy advocates are enraged. “To the extent that the city is involved in this, the lack of transparency about this data-mining operation is even more, of even greater, concern,” Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said. “This is an agreement that has to be suspended pending an open process about what’s going on.”