Transport for London (TfL) plans to make £322m by collecting Tube users’ location data and potentially selling it to third parties, Sky News can reveal.
At the end of 2016, TfL ran a pilot which tracked the Wi-Fi signals from 5.6 million phones as people moved around the London Underground, even if they weren’t connected to a Wi-Fi network.
TfL publicly stated that the purpose of the scheme was to use the aggregated, anonymised data “to better understand how people navigate the London Underground network, allowing TfL to improve the experience for customers”.
It is now in consultation about tracking passengers on a permanent basis. The only way to opt out of the scheme would be to turn your Wi-Fi or phone off.
Wi-Fi tracking is used around the UK, especially on high streets and shopping centres, to track customers as they move around a store, for example.