Renew announced it would be making its smart trash cans, called “Renew Orbs” available in several locations around London. They can be used to track the devices people use and also the rate at which they’re traveling past the trash cans.
Well, now the City of London has asked them to stop using smart trash cans. Renew has complied with the City of London’s request and has since “stopped all trials in the meantime.” There were concerns raised by privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch after details of the smart trash cans were made public and that is why they were trashed so to speak.
Chief executive Kaveh Memari says that Renew Orbs would only record “extremely limited, encrypted, aggregated and anonymized data” in order to monitor local foot traffic. They could get additional capabilities, but any changes would be made so that the public is aware. A spokesperson for the City of London said that “anything that happens like this on the streets needs to be done carefully, with the backing of an informed public.” Even if you are just talking trash.
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