Hey you guys,

Let’s talk about how ‘free’ you are at a festival.

I read a paper about how they track people at ‘Rock Werchter’ using Bluetooth, they started the first experiments already during the edition of 2009.

They use Bluetooth to track the movement of groups of festival goers, because nowadays every cell phone has this feature. Most people don’t even turn it off because they use it in their car to call handsfree. Every cell phone has a unique MAC address, so by placing a lot of Bluetooth scanners. You can see how cell phones move around all day. They will not know your phone number so don’t be afraid of that, they can only see what trajectory a certain cell phone has followed.

The retrieved data can be used to optimise the infrastructure of the next year. Like, what is the optimal position of drink shops or toilets? But like you all know, they not only organise it for fun. They want to make money out of it. I think that the data is also used to determine at which spots on the festival grounds, the most festival goers pass by. The spot where the most people pass a day will have a high value to place a publicity stand on. And sponsors will pay big money for big advertisement.


Which would be the primary reason for this tracking according to you? The upgrading of the festival experience every year or will it be the money of publicity?

What do you think, is it a violation of the privacy?

When I hear tracking and violation of privacy, I immediately think about the location tracking that was in the Apples IOS4 maybe some of you still know it . That was a big hype at that moment, because it was a real privacy violation. And Apple was obligated by court to change this in their operating system.



For the Flemish students there was also a little TV interview with the students of the University of Ghent who realised it: