Airports Speed-Up Security Lines by Tracking Your Smartphone
The Cincinnati airport is about to become the first airport in the U.S. to monitor your Wi-Fi devices in an effort to minimize congestion and wait times.
The use of the BlipTrack system - developed by Lockheed Martin – will enable them to identify congested areas and display wait times for security checkpoints. It’s believed that when travelers have this information they are calmer and find the queuing experience less frustrating.
Although BlipTrack detects the presence of a Wi-Fi enabled device through its embedded Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals, it doesn’t gather personal data such as the owner’s identification. While some European airports using the system notify travelers that it is in use, Cincinnati doesn’t plan to notify travelers, saying that the system poses no privacy issues.
Approximately half of airport passengers carry Wi-Fi devices such as a smartphone or laptop and as this number grows, the data supplied will become even more reliable. BlipTrack will be able to analyze passengers’ movements more closely and will also collect data on how people use the airport’s retail and restaurant facilities.
BlipTrack is already used in 20 airports around the world – Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dubai and Toronto, to name just a few - and although Cincinnati is the first in the U.S., it is expected that there will eventually be 50 U.S. airports using it to monitor your movements. The program will debut in July.