United Kingdom

UK Bans Advertising Firm From Using Trash Cans To Track People Using Wi-Fi

Was trying to make ads more personable in London's financial district

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Officials demanded Monday that an advertising firm stop using a network of high-tech trash cans to track people walking through London's financial district.

The Renew ad firm has been using technology embedded in the hulking receptacles to measure the Wi-Fi signals emitted by smartphones, and suggested that it would apply the concept of "cookies" — tracking files that follow Internet users across the Web — to the physical world.

"We will cookie the street," Renew Chief Executive Kaveh Memari said in June.