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Old September 8th 17, 02:03 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

From:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/transport-for-london-may-track-commuters-via-phones-to-reduce-overcrowding-b0ss982j7?shareToken=d3406a5e9a7b95fb4dd49507b8be3 071

Commuters could be tracked using their mobile phones under plans to tackle
overcrowding and increase revenue from advertising.

Transport for London (TfL) followed 5.6 million phones over four weeks
before Christmas via wifi in stations and is assessing how to develop the
monitoring system. The trial identified pinch-points in stations,
overcrowding on platforms and favoured routes around the network.

Controversially, the system could be used to sell advertising, with
companies charged more to buy space on platforms where travellers spend the
longest time.

Anonymised phone data is seen as a far more accurate way to track journeys
than entry and exit logs at barriers.

An evaluation of the trial, published today, shows that passengers used 18
routes to go between King’s Cross/St Pancras and Waterloo, the busiest
stations on the network, with 40 per cent of people who were tracked
failing to take the two fastest routes. The data showed that even within
stations a third of passengers did not use the quickest routes between
platforms and could be wasting up to two minutes.

Transport for London is assessing how best to employ the system in the
future and admitted yesterday that it could be used to track passenger
movements in “real time”.

It said it was talking to the Information Commissioner’s Office about its
plans and passengers could opt out by switching their wifi off. It said
that the phone data was “de-personalised”, with nothing to identify
individuals.

The system works by using 1,070 wifi access points on the Tube network.
They pick up on a code that identifies each phone, the media access control
(MAC) address, and track them from point to point.

Each MAC address was “irreversibly” encrypted, TfL said. Prior to
encryption, a random code is added to each to ensure that the phone cannot
be identified even if the encryption could be reversed. No browsing data
was collected, meaning that emails and the internet habits of passengers
could not be shared with third parties.

Privacy campaigners expressed concern over the technology. Renate Samson,
chief executive of Big Brother Watch, said: “Analysing movements of people
via their device may provide unique analytical benefits but is still a
process of tracking and monitoring as they go about their daily business.
It is critical that the public are completely clear on what is being done,
when, how and why, and how they can opt out.”

TfL, which handles up to 4.8 million journeys a day, spent £100,000 testing
the technology in 54 stations.

Val Shawcross, deputy mayor for transport, said: “The analysis of secure,
de-personalised wifi data could enable us to map the journey patterns of
millions of passengers and understand in much greater detail how people
move around our transport network. It will provide real benefits, helping
TfL tackle overcrowding, provide more information for passengers about
their best route and help prioritise investment.”


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Old September 8th 17, 02:18 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

On 08/09/17 14:03, Recliner wrote:
From:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/transport-for-london-may-track-commuters-via-phones-to-reduce-overcrowding-b0ss982j7?shareToken=d3406a5e9a7b95fb4dd49507b8be3 071

Commuters could be tracked using their mobile phones under plans to tackle
overcrowding and increase revenue from advertising.

Transport for London (TfL) followed 5.6 million phones over four weeks
before Christmas via wifi in stations and is assessing how to develop the
monitoring system. The trial identified pinch-points in stations,
overcrowding on platforms and favoured routes around the network.

Controversially, the system could be used to sell advertising, with
companies charged more to buy space on platforms where travellers spend the
longest time.

Anonymised phone data is seen as a far more accurate way to track journeys
than entry and exit logs at barriers.

An evaluation of the trial, published today, shows that passengers used 18
routes to go between King’s Cross/St Pancras and Waterloo, the busiest
stations on the network, with 40 per cent of people who were tracked
failing to take the two fastest routes. The data showed that even within
stations a third of passengers did not use the quickest routes between
platforms and could be wasting up to two minutes.

Transport for London is assessing how best to employ the system in the
future and admitted yesterday that it could be used to track passenger
movements in “real time”.

It said it was talking to the Information Commissioner’s Office about its
plans and passengers could opt out by switching their wifi off. It said
that the phone data was “de-personalised”, with nothing to identify
individuals.

The system works by using 1,070 wifi access points on the Tube network.
They pick up on a code that identifies each phone, the media access control
(MAC) address, and track them from point to point.

Each MAC address was “irreversibly” encrypted, TfL said. Prior to
encryption, a random code is added to each to ensure that the phone cannot
be identified even if the encryption could be reversed. No browsing data
was collected, meaning that emails and the internet habits of passengers
could not be shared with third parties.

Privacy campaigners expressed concern over the technology. Renate Samson,
chief executive of Big Brother Watch, said: “Analysing movements of people
via their device may provide unique analytical benefits but is still a
process of tracking and monitoring as they go about their daily business.
It is critical that the public are completely clear on what is being done,
when, how and why, and how they can opt out.”

TfL, which handles up to 4.8 million journeys a day, spent £100,000 testing
the technology in 54 stations.

Val Shawcross, deputy mayor for transport, said: “The analysis of secure,
de-personalised wifi data could enable us to map the journey patterns of
millions of passengers and understand in much greater detail how people
move around our transport network. It will provide real benefits, helping
TfL tackle overcrowding, provide more information for passengers about
their best route and help prioritise investment.”

Let's face it. Even if encrypted, you cannot anonymise a MAC address as
it is unique to each phone.
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Old September 8th 17, 02:36 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

In message , at 13:03:37 on Fri, 8 Sep
2017, Recliner remarked:

The data showed that even within stations a third of passengers did not
use the quickest routes between platforms and could be wasting up to
two minutes.


Assisted, no doubt, by TfL signage which frequently points to
non-optimum routes on account of fearing overloading of the optimum
route.
--
Roland Perry
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Old September 8th 17, 03:00 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

On 2017-09-08 13:18:33 +0000, Martin Coffee said:

On 08/09/17 14:03, Recliner wrote:
[snip]
[TfL] said it was talking to the Information Commissioner’s Office about its
plans and passengers could opt out by switching their wifi off. It said
that the phone data was “de-personalised”, with nothing to identify
individuals.

The system works by using 1,070 wifi access points on the Tube network.
They pick up on a code that identifies each phone, the media access control
(MAC) address, and track them from point to point.

Each MAC address was “irreversibly” encrypted, TfL said. Prior to
encryption, a random code is added to each to ensure that the phone cannot
be identified even if the encryption could be reversed. No browsing data
was collected, meaning that emails and the internet habits of passengers
could not be shared with third parties.
[snip]

Let's face it. Even if encrypted, you cannot anonymise a MAC address
as it is unique to each phone.


You can turn it into something that can't be (realistically) turned
back into a MAC address that can be used to identify the
phone/tablet/laptop/whatever.

Sam

--
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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Old September 8th 17, 03:40 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

On 08/09/17 15:00, Sam Wilson wrote:
On 2017-09-08 13:18:33 +0000, Martin Coffee said:

On 08/09/17 14:03, Recliner wrote:
[snip]
[TfL] said it was talking to the Information Commissioner’s Office
about its
plans and passengers could opt out by switching their wifi off. It said
that the phone data was “de-personalised”, with nothing to identify
individuals.

The system works by using 1,070 wifi access points on the Tube network.
They pick up on a code that identifies each phone, the media access
control
(MAC) address, and track them from point to point.

Each MAC address was “irreversibly” encrypted, TfL said. Prior to
encryption, a random code is added to each to ensure that the phone
cannot
be identified even if the encryption could be reversed. No browsing data
was collected, meaning that emails and the internet habits of passengers
could not be shared with third parties.
[snip]

Let's face it. Even if encrypted, you cannot anonymise a MAC address
as it is unique to each phone.


You can turn it into something that can't be (realistically) turned back
into a MAC address that can be used to identify the
phone/tablet/laptop/whatever.

You don't have to turn the "anonymised" back to a MAC address to
de-anonymise the data. You just encrypt a MAC address and identify the
location data in just the same manner as the tracking occurs. Thus the
location can still be re-associated with the original MAC address.

There has been recent suggestions that it might become a criminal
offence to de-anonymise anonymised personal information. It seems to me
that this legislation is urgently needed.


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Old September 8th 17, 04:07 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

On 08/09/2017 14:03, Recliner wrote:
From:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/transport-for-london-may-track-commuters-via-phones-to-reduce-overcrowding-b0ss982j7?shareToken=d3406a5e9a7b95fb4dd49507b8be3 071

Commuters could be tracked using their mobile phones under plans to tackle
overcrowding and increase revenue from advertising.

Transport for London (TfL) followed 5.6 million phones over four weeks
before Christmas via wifi in stations and is assessing how to develop the
monitoring system. The trial identified pinch-points in stations,
overcrowding on platforms and favoured routes around the network.

Controversially, the system could be used to sell advertising, with
companies charged more to buy space on platforms where travellers spend the
longest time.

Anonymised phone data is seen as a far more accurate way to track journeys
than entry and exit logs at barriers.

An evaluation of the trial, published today, shows that passengers used 18
routes to go between King’s Cross/St Pancras and Waterloo, the busiest
stations on the network, with 40 per cent of people who were tracked
failing to take the two fastest routes. The data showed that even within
stations a third of passengers did not use the quickest routes between
platforms and could be wasting up to two minutes.


I'm still trying to work out 18 different ways to travel between the two
by tube.


--
Graeme Wall
This account not read.

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Old September 8th 17, 04:19 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

On 2017\09\08 14:03, Recliner wrote:
From:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/transport-for-london-may-track-commuters-via-phones-to-reduce-overcrowding-b0ss982j7?shareToken=d3406a5e9a7b95fb4dd49507b8be3 071

Commuters could be tracked using their mobile phones under plans to tackle
overcrowding and increase revenue from advertising.

Transport for London (TfL) followed 5.6 million phones over four weeks
before Christmas via wifi in stations and is assessing how to develop the
monitoring system. The trial identified pinch-points in stations,
overcrowding on platforms and favoured routes around the network.

Controversially, the system could be used to sell advertising, with
companies charged more to buy space on platforms where travellers spend the
longest time.


How is that controversial!
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Old September 8th 17, 04:21 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

In message , at 16:07:44 on Fri, 8 Sep 2017,
Graeme Wall remarked:

An evaluation of the trial, published today, shows that passengers
used 18 routes to go between King’s Cross/St Pancras and Waterloo,
the busiest stations on the network, with 40 per cent of people who
were tracked failing to take the two fastest routes. The data showed
that even within stations a third of passengers did not use the
quickest routes between platforms and could be wasting up to two minutes.


I'm still trying to work out 18 different ways to travel between the
two by tube.


Did you include Mornington Crescent? (Reverse at Camden Town.)
--
Roland Perry
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Old September 8th 17, 04:30 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

In message , at 16:19:05 on Fri, 8 Sep 2017,
Basil Jet remarked:

Controversially, the system could be used to sell advertising, with
companies charged more to buy space on platforms where travellers spend the
longest time.


How is that controversial!


With the advertisers, who are bound to end up paying more in total.
That's the whole point!
--
Roland Perry
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Old September 8th 17, 04:50 PM posted to uk.railway,uk.transport.london
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Default Tube passengers tracked by phone WiFi

On 2017\09\08 16:07, Graeme Wall wrote:
On 08/09/2017 14:03, Recliner wrote:
From:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/transport-for-london-may-track-commuters-via-phones-to-reduce-overcrowding-b0ss982j7?shareToken=d3406a5e9a7b95fb4dd49507b8be3 071


An evaluation of the trial, published today, shows that passengers
used 18
routes to go between King’s Cross/St Pancras and Waterloo, the busiest
stations on the network, with 40 per cent of people who were tracked
failing to take the two fastest routes. The data showed that even within
stations a third of passengers did not use the quickest routes between
platforms and could be wasting up to two minutes.


I'm still trying to work out 18 different ways to travel between the two
by tube.


Two Tubes:
Kennington
Elephant (via Northern)
Oxford Circus (presumably the fastest)
Leicester Sq
Piccadilly Circ
Green Pk via Picc
Green Pk via Vic
Euston via Vic
Euston via City Branch
Euston Sq - Warren Street
Great Portland Street - Regents Park
Baker Street via Bakerloo
Baker Street via Jubilee
Bank
London Bridge via Jubilee
Camden Town (admittedly takes you though Euston twice, but there is less
walking at Camden Town)
Monument
Stockwell
Westminster via Circle
Embankment via Circle

One Tube + one NR:
Elephant (via Thameslink)
London Bridge via Southeastern
Vauxhall
Kentish Town via Thameslink
West Hampstead via Thameslink

Some of these are rather circuitous, but when the network is screwed in
various ways most of these could become a reasonable route.


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