Schumer calls the FTC to investigate spying billboards

Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Citing privacy issues Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate companies installing billboards that can track individuals as they pass by these outdoor advertisements.

Schumer specifically noted a program called Radar, initiated by ClearChannel Outdoor and other ad firms, that can track a person's travel pattern using technology built into the sign, including a camera, and tied to the GPS location system in the individual's smartphone. The data collected could include the person's age and sex along with how much time he or she spent within viewing distance of the billboard.

“In light of the privacy concerns that exist with these “spying billboards”, I ask that the Federal Trade Commission investigate, to ensure that Clear Channel Outdoor is acting transparently in this initiative, and consider if consumers should be given the opportunity to opt-out of the sale of their data,” Schumer said in a letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

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