While controversial in other cities, Loveland’s City Council voted unanimously to accept $380,000 from the federal government to begin tracking every mobile device moving along roadways throughout the city. See our story
Already in use by the DEA and DHS, the small receivers will record whenever you pass by it registering the time and place. As you eventually pass enough receivers, your speed and typical driving patterns are stored for future analysis by traffic control computers controlling traffic signals.
George Bailey May Have Found Jeff Bailey’s ‘Wonderful Life’ Lacking This Christmas
Monitoring the whereabouts of every mobile device user in the city sounds like something Mr. Potter would have championed as a Christmas gift for the community but not one of the Bailey’s. Loveland’s Interim Public Works Director, Jeff Bailey, seemed downright misinformed or misleading (we don’t know which) while answering questions at the December 5, Loveland City Council meeting regarding the federal money the City is receiving to begin monitoring mobile devices.
Among his ridiculous assertions was the idea the data retrieved could never be used to identify the owner of the p. He also asserted silly notions like the technology can only capture one mobile user in each car. On the contrary, it detects any mobile device with a Bluetooth turned on only dropping the record of the second user after they pass another receiver (to reduce redundancy in traffic management data).
Predictive analysis based on previous actions informed by passive receivers identifying and tracking subjects is hardly a new technology. Militaries around the world along with authoritative regimes have been using these technologies for many years to identify and sometimes engage threats. What is new is it’s application for civil objectives like traffic control.
We believe the city council should reserve for itself, those elected to office, the ability to determine when such far reaching data regarding its citizens can be used for any purpose other than traffic congestion. Of course, such restrictions were not discussed so the potential for abuse is there and will grow as the city’s archived data regarding your movements become more and more routine and guarded with less and less caution.