Bin Spying

By Rob Last edited 161 months ago
Bin Spying

It's been a while since we've checked up on the latest gadget news but, what do you know, as soon as we do we find that Londoners are being targeted by hi-tech refuse spies.

According to Engagdet "In an experiment designed to track trash collection, residents of Croydon, South London, are having chips installed in their trash bins."

The chips are designed to "keep tabs" on the regular collections, but it seems some paranoid souls have already warned that those shadowy refuse authorities may use the chips to monitor "trash levels" and then deal with those people who produce too much rubbish.

In this Guardian article from last week, Andrew Pelling, the Conservative London assembly representative for the area, says "The Stasi or the KGB could never have dreamed of getting a spying device in every household."

He goes on: "If, for example, computer hackers broke in to the system, they could see sudden reductions in waste in specific households, suggesting the owners were on holiday and the house vacant."

That's some pretty dedicated burglars you've got in mind there Andy. Wouldn't the time-honoured ploy of ringing the doorbell be a whole lot easier?

Last Updated 16 February 2005

Flemish Trademark

Funny piece, but nothing new in other parts of Europe. Here in Belgium they have been using a chip system for about 2 years. As the garbage collectors are officially a private business (about 85% funded by the government) they use these chips to monitor collections and to determine how much to charge you.

I've never heard of the idea that such a system could be used to plan robberies, but it makes sense. Perhaps, when taking a long vacation, you should consider having a neighbor put your can out one day in the middle of it just to be safe?