Merthyr Council Tracks Peoples Mobile Phones
Merthyr council tracks people’s movements while in its city centre through their mobile phones.
13:57 06 December 2018
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is using Geosense to monitor people visiting its town centre. The system picks up visitors’ mobile phone’s Media Access Control address as they enter the town centre and gather the information it needs, including the number of visitors by week, peak times, the length of time people stay in the town centre and where they go while there.
Based on the data gathered by the system, 69,000 more people visited the town centre in the 10 weeks after Trago Mills opened.
Lance Whiteley, the Orbit Business Centre manager, said that the town centre received 320,000 visitors in the 10 weeks running up to Trago Mills' opening in April and 411,000 in the 10 weeks after.
When asked as to whether the system may raise issues related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Mr Whitely said that the system does not reveal any information about visitors.
A council officer said: "There was a lot of nerves and jitters about Trago coming.
"The Trago figures have taken us by surprise. There was a fear the town would close but it is not, it is kicking on."
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