The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is installing a first-in-the-nation system to monitor security checkpoint wait times using travelers’ smartphones and other WiFi-enabled devices, Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting.
The system, known as BlipTrack, works by tracking the unique Media Access Control (MAC) addresses of phones and other devices actively searching for a WiFi or Bluetooth connection in the airport. The location of your phone will only be tracked as it moves through certain pre-defined areas, and no personally identifying data will be collected. Airport officials claim the system poses no threat to your privacy.
The nuts and bolts behind BlipTrack are virtually identical to the customer-tracking system tested by retailer Nordstrom early last year.
The choice to move forward with the BlipTrack system is curious, given that Apple is removing the ability for MAC addresses to be tracked in iOS 8. Should Google’s Android OS follow suit, Cincinnati’s system could be obsolete just months after it’s installed.
BlipTrack, already in use in major international airports worldwide, is expected to go live in Cincinnati next month.
[Airport line via Shutterstock]