The City of London has demanded that an advertising firm stop using a network of hi-tech litter bins that can track people walking
through London's financial district.
The City of London Corporation has now told Renew to pull the plug on the programme, which captures smartphones' serial numbers and analyses signal strength to follow people up and down the street.
It is unclear how Renew had planned to use the data, gathered by its reinforced, shoulder-height bins stationed near St Paul's Cathedral and Liverpool Street station.
The bins include a video display for advertising and it is speculated that adverts could be tailored to passers by eg for noting for example whether a phone is in roaming mode. Different adverts could be shown to City workers and visitors.
A spokesman for the council said it had learned about the tests through the press only last week.
Nick Pickles of the privacy advocacy group Big Brother Watch said questions need to be asked about how such a blatant attack on people's privacy was able to occur .