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'Incredibly Creepy' Billboards to Track Behavior of Passers-By


'Incredibly Creepy' Billboards to Track Behavior of Passers-By

Nika Knight, staff writer

Billboards across the country will soon begin to spy on the behavior of passers-by and sell that data to advertisers.

Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, which owns tens of thousands of billboards nationwide, is on Monday announcing plans to use people's cell phones to allow its billboards to track the behavior of everyone who walks or drives past the ads.


In a country where a brand may well end up on the ballot for commander-in-chief should one really be surprised at this dystopian "reality"?


Time for an ap that detects such detection, and by means of encryption delivers a streaming message, all caps......



There actually are a few things you can do about it:

  • Throw your portable corporate government surveillance device, aka "smartphone", into an incinerator.
  • Stop shopping for shit you don't need, which is almost everything you buy.
  • Abandon cities, which are the primary driver of the growth of civilization and are what is driving all this environmentally ruinous, hyper-commercial madness.


Just another facet of "Mission Accomplished."


Reminds me of the insipid AmEx ads w/Tina Fey. Shop 'til you drop. Whee!


So stop paying for an expensive cell phone/surveillance device just so you can work in and live near an expensive city are elitist suggestions?


How about this shorter version: live simply and rid your life of all this unnecessary and destructive corporate garbage.


So, you think smartphones make you smart? Most, if not all large cities, are consumer theme parks, little different than Disneyland. It is also a lot cheaper to live in a rural environment, not to mention healthier.


Cities long predate capitalism and are the centers, both in the past and today, of all that is creative and innovative - including alternatives to capitalism. Name one great thinker on the left, one visionary, artist - anyone resisting capitalism, who did not or does not do their work and gain their inspiration in cafes, universities and common gathering spaces a large city? The life in a cabin in the woods you suggest only breeds hyper-individualism and misanthropy. Marx in London and Paris, Dostoyevsky in St. Petersburg, Chomsky in Boston, Naomi Klein in Toronto, or Glenn Greenwald in Rio De Janero... versus Ted Kazinsky scribbling away (and "stuffing" envelopes) in his Montana cabin, comes to mind.


I suggest you live simply and throw away your computer and cut off your connectivity from the internet to set an example. And if you are posting from a library or a friend's computer, then you need to trash that too.

Most people don't have the means to simply move to some rural town, or to the countryside, or wilderness. You're analysis is thick on judgement aimed at the wrong culprits.

That said, of course I agree with putting down that fucking cell phone, and buying less crap. My state of barely above the poverty line pretty much forces that behavior for me, otherwise I can't eat, pay rent, or have lights in my shared apt.


Everything is easier said than done. It's easier to say you're going to the grocery store than to actually go. If the extent of people's resistance against this relentless neo-fascist behemoth is to toss off a few tweets and pull a lever for a Democrat every four years then we may as well pack it up and surrender to the nearest private prison for our work assignments.


Not healthier for the earth. A rural dweller has a far larger carbon footprint and uses far more resources per household than a public transit-using townhouse of condo dweller in a city (note the operative word is "city" not "suburbia"). And don't give me this "but they grow their own food!" Virtually nobody does that. But living in the city does give one far better access to a broad range of farmers markets selling goods from the immediate area than if you were living in the middle of, say, Iowa.

And what would happen if everyone who now lives in a city followed you advice? Even if for arguing "moving out into the country" was a solution for yourself, is it a solution for all?


Yeah, the hypocrisy charge against anyone who points out that the solution to the kind of abuse outlined in this article is opposition to and rejection of civilization. "Why don't you go live in a cave!?" "Why are you posting on the Internet!?"

Why? Because most people still need to have civilization problematized. Most have never even imagined that the "march of technological progress" might in fact be a bad thing. Once a critical mass of people are sick of it, and recognize what the real problem is, then the end of this shit becomes possible.

So I'm going to rub your nose in it, I'm gong to rub your nose in the fact that government and corporations are now so confident in your enslavement that they are wedging cameras and microphones up your ass. And they will not stop until you reject the premise that technological progress is good. That cities are good. That this entire edifice of alienating, domesticating, mass society is anything more than an oppressive death trip.

And I'll do it from whenever and wherever and using whatever technologies I like. Are we fucking clear?


When I have to travel for work and rent a car. I'm always amazed at how cars (Ford products seem to be the worst) are evolving into just 1 1/2-ton smartphones on rubber tires. The GPS that is built into these cars is almost certainly being used to track the usage of the car for data-mining purposes.


People should realize that unless they turn their cell phones off they can be tracked. Stores are also tracking people if they leave their cell phones on. And with facial recognition software cameras can also be used for tracking. We need to resist buying into the Silicon Valley future which is being marketed aggressively. It is not a good future if you care about human values.


"People would be outraged if they knew how facial recognition" is being developed and promoted, Alvaro Bedoya, the executive director of Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology, told Consumer Reports. "Not only because they weren’t told about it, but because there’s nothing they can do about it."

Are smartphones convenient? Yes.
Are the billboards intrusive? Yes they are.
Are they an absolute necessity like air, water, and food?
Absolutely not!
If people would cancel their cell phone subscriptions and learn to make shopping lists rather than just go to stores grazing as either an antidepressant or just to hang out, then the intruders would more quickly get the message that they are neither welcome nor making the sales they promised to their paying clients. This nonsense would then either quickly disappear or become more costly than its worth.


"...go to stores grazing as either an antidepressant..."

Good observation.


Boy, are you deluded. My produce comes from my garden not thousands of miles away, trucked, sprayed, and half of it, thrown away. When you walk, bike or bus to the mall or market, do you think the items you purchase don't have an enormous carbon footprint. For every opera house and art gallery there are hundreds of nail salons, thousands of glaring neon lights that blot out the stars, ghettos filled with poverty and despair. Imagine New York accessed by four four lane highways. Every day each is full. One with chickens, one with pigs, one with cows, one with trucks filled with fish. Everyone in that city lives by the grace of rural America. Your cafe dilettantes with all their creativity and progressive ideas have achieved less than progressive results.


I wonder if their facial recognition software will recognize my bare ass as I moon the screen. Cities will become completely covered with these devices and eventually they will be linked with AI for our safety of course. I would suggest if one knows that the screen is "sentient" (that's a joke) to do the opposite, or something unpredictable so that the algorithms mean absolutely nothing. For example you have just finished purchasing an item from Ikea perhaps a new Schloopa ice cream scoop which you decided you really need. Standing outside after you had your retina verified for your credit purchase (no cash now) you see a huge screen on the building side wall. Your intuition tells you its "watching" you. Do you
a) pull down your pants and moon it.
b) throw down the schloopa and stomp on it while smiling at the screen.
c) place the Schloopa on the ground and pray to it-like it is God.
d) talk to the screen like it is alive, well maybe it is, there could be people behind it, you know watching
e) give the Nazi salute

After performing your choice you can't remember where your car is in the parking lot. Sighing you look up at the screen. To your surprise and delight it is showing a picture of you getting out of you car in aisle A 10 when you arrived, even the part where you thought you locked your keys in the car and freaked out, that's humiliating, you aren't so delighted anymore. You feel such relief and conflict over your gesturing to the screen. Maybe its not so bad you say to yourself. You chastise yourself for reacting to the "Good Father-AI" when you exited the store. Picking up what remains of your schloopa you wander to your car followed the whole way.


Except you didn't point out any solutions That's exactly what people are trying to tell you.

Everyone just needs to move to the country and abandon technology! Sure. So what happens to the country, then? What happens to families? What happens to jobs? Who's gonna pay me to move my life?

How bout this for a solution: everyone just kills themselves. Good luck selling that one, too.

"And I'll do it from whenever and wherever and using whatever technologies I like. Are we fucking clear?"
What's clear is that you're screaming from a soapbox and no one is going to pay half a mind to you until pull your head out of your ass.

There's all kinds of things about technological progress that are good. There's all kinds of things about agriculture which are good. There's all kinds of things about humans that are good. Until you're willing to recognize the complexity of the world, you will find yourself incapable of analyzing it or offering "solutions" that anyone will take half seriously.

"But we use pesticides! So abandon farming! There's ads on the internet, so abandon computers! Capitalists live in cities, so move to the Moon!"

Yeah good luck.