The B for Bluetooth can easily stand for “Big Brother”…

Via Guardian (UK), a report on a study being done without people’s knowledge that uses Bluetooth to keep track of people’s aggregate behavior, see Bluetooth is watching: secret study gives Bath a flavour of Big Brother:

The data is being used in a project called Cityware to study how people move around cities. But pedestrians are not being told that the devices they carry around in their pockets and handbags could be providing a permanent record of their journeys, which is then stored on a central database.


More than 1,000 scanners across the world at any time detect passing Bluetooth signals and send the data to Cityware’s central database. Those with access to the database admit they do not know precisely how many scanners have been created, but there are known to be scanners in San Diego, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Toronto and Berlin.

Good reminders

This is a good reminder to keep your Bluetooth OFF, or at a very minimum, in non-Discoverable mode; turn it on ONLY when needed / or when wanted be tracked (see

And remember, to not use any personal information as the friendly name for your Bluetooth device (or your home wireless access point, for that matter); from the article:

Many people use pseudonyms, nicknames, initials, or abbreviations to identify their Bluetooth signals. Cityware’s scanners are also picking up signals that are listed using people’s full name, email address and telephone numbers.