June 24, 2014 7:15 pm -

If it sounds like Big Brother, it is.

By year’s end, Chicago could have as many as 50 sensors attached to downtown light poles collecting data on everything from the humidity to air quality to the noise level.

The project, called “Array of Things,” has the potential for far-reaching applications. For example, air quality data could help you navigate a route through the city that avoids pollution and allergens. Or traffic data could inform the city where best to install bike lines.

“The whole project is, how can you get the city to be more helpful to people by telling us about itself?” said Charlie Catlett, director of the Center for Computation and Data at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, in an interview with USA TODAY Network…

One of the things the sensors will collect is the number of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices within about a 100-foot range to try to get at the number of pedestrians. The project has raised concerns the sensors will collect private information.

This can only be good, and not infringe on our personal freedoms, right?

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

No responses to Chicago To Measure Pedestrians’ Movements

  1. Tom Ward June 24th, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    “One of the things the sensors will collect is the number of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices ”

    Always turn these off when you’re not using them. Saves battery, is more secure, and now it also prevents big brother from monitoring you. Well that last part isn’t true, big brother has 1000 other ways to monitor you. 🙁

  2. Debra Watkins June 25th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Welcome to the progressive city.

  3. fancypants June 25th, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    it would be hard to name a city that doesn’t use cameras or motion detectors.
    Chicago has been a target for the right as we have seen in the past