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 Rubbish Bins Spy on you

This story is from the category Connectivity
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Date posted: 11/09/2006

Rubbish bins all over the UK are upgrading, becoming the eyes and ears of their local councils. At least 500,000 wheelie bins now use passive RFID tagging.

Electronic, passive RFID tags about the size of a one-pence piece are screwed into a hole in the lip of the bin. As the bin is hoisted up for emptying, an RFID reader on the dustcart interrogates the chip, which divulges a serial number identifying the property owner. The weight of the bin is recorded by the truck's sensors and is registered in a database entry along with the serial number.

The database entries for the day are downloaded at the dump, and stored in a vast central databank of property owner behaviour.

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