Titan — the outdoor advertising company responsible for placings ads on pay phone booths throughout the city and equipping hundreds of them with “beacons” that track passing cellphones — has announced that they will get rid of the controversial devices.
A City Hall spokesman tells Buzzfeed that the pseudo-surveillance gizmos “will be removed over the coming days.”
Titan says they were only using the bluetooth-enabled gadgets in a test for future purposes: “Titan is committed to testing new technologies which may have future benefits to its municipality partners and their constituents.” Those future benefits would most likely be in the implementation of these stations that are planned to replace payphones soon. Since the city is counting on Titan’s contract, they went to great pains to emphasize that “Titan has been an important City partner in helping expand communications options for New Yorkers.”
Titan originally told the DoITT that the apparatuses were to be used for maintenance purposes, and they were given permission without a formal approval process. Just like many people who “opted-in” through a third-party app, the city should have read the fine print. (Photo: Chris Ford)