CHOICE membership

My car park is tracking me!

I had reason to go to a shopping mall yesterday afternoon, and I found that the parking arrangements had changed.

  1. It no longer issues paper tickets when you drive in, and demands them when you leave. Hooray for the environment!
  2. Instead it scans the car’s number plate when I enter and leave, and calculates a parking fee using that.

Now this may well have been happening for years in other places, but it is the first time I have encountered this particular piece of technology and it leaves me with a few thoughts.

  1. How many car parks are using this?
  2. How many are owned by one company, which can then aggregate a person’s shopping and parking preferences?
  3. What if any laws exist to prevent the car park owner from selling all of that tracking data to GoogBook?

In short, where are my privacy protections?

I also found on entering the shopping centre that it had advertising everywhere encouraging me to download its app. So it doesn’t just want to know when I’m shopping, it wants to know where I am the rest of the time!

Am I exhibiting more than my usual paranoia?

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Quite a few. There are some shopping centres in Brisbane using this technology.

It is worth noting that even if they aren’t scanned on entry, many carpark use contractors to drive around with cameras to scan numberplates of parked cars, to determine overstayers.

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Well at least it is not just Google and Facebook tracking you now.

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Maybe not, but I bet they’ll happily buy the data.

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Not the only ones interested.

If you have a disabled or special needs parking permit you can register using your permit details and the free time limit is extended automatically for as long as your special parking permit is valid. This was being progressively rolled out across all of the centres under the one owner in Brisbane in 2017/18. It’s been nearly three years since the first of these centres issued a paper ticket.

If you need more free shopping time, it has always been available if you spend enough. Of course you need to provide your receipts to validate the spend.

A reasonable suspicion is that the in store free wifi and centre app provide the most useful data set. Google might desire access, but would a business rooted to a bricks and mortar paradigm be done keen to provide customer data to the key holder of digital marketing and sales.

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… LPR is one thing, of course unless you wear the Groucho Marx accoutrements while sailing through the LPR then the cameras inside can quite easily map the facial recognition from the point of LPR to identify your travel inside the establishment as well, or whether you just used it for the x hours free parking by leaving to adjacent establishments via known routes … and that’s just a summary and portion of current commercial capability.

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One of the big supermarkets near me used to have a time consuming method:
After parking find a Meter, read the conditions etc, enter your car’s reg number, confirm how long you plan to stay and if over the ‘free’ time pay the fee, print receipt (optional).
Can’t tell you how many times that having other things on my mind, I forgot to comply, and only registered just before leaving and lived in fear of getting a notice of a fine in the mail.

LPR has made my life easier.
Besides, what can I do about Big Brother? :wink:

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Hope the next series, if ever there is one is not filmed in a shopping centre car park?

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Now there are Huawei sunglasses which can spy on you whilst you listen to music.

https://www.9news.com.au/technology/huawei-smart-sunglasses-review/1958fcb7-21dd-4e35-9090-d04e6dba9b9e

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If you’re struggling and it earns more money, probably.

I have encountered this one previously. Again, it doesn’t value customer privacy.

That sounds defeatist. The European Union is doing all sorts of things to protect its citizens - why can’t Australia take action? Oh yes, we’re business-friendly (i.e. do what we’re told).

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Does customer privacy exist any more?

Being watched by video cameras in big and small stores…loyalty cards revealing your shopping habits…being asked to scan a QR code before entering some venues… the list is endless…

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You could read the mandatory car parking privacy policy such as this one on secure parking site and of course you can use off street parking ( whereby the Council will photograph your car registration) or possibly shop using public transport

https://www.secureparking.com.au/en-au/about/stuff-to-know/privacy-policy

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Opal card, Go card, Myki card, etc.
It might be better to walk or ride a bike, possibly wearing a rubberised pull over chicken head just to be sure.

There’s a reason it’s called going out in public. Privacy ends once you step out the front gate or door in so many different ways.

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Correct. Though registering a Go Card say is not mandatory, just convenient. And as I live in the city there are cc cameras everywhere I go.
And as a JP issuing the occasional search warrant, the cameras are very useful to the police.

Consumers voluntarily sign up to so many websites and click “I agree” without reading the privacy statements. We own Technology including wearables, we put Amazon and google personal helpers in our homes, we have cameras on our computers. All in all I am less concerned about the parking tracking issue and more fascinated about how we sign up to everything and then complain about it. None of it is mandatory

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At the main vehicle entrance to the second largest shopping centre in Cairns, Stockland Earlville, there is a sign fixed to a lighting post which displays the terms and conditions.

It is directly above the 10km/h speed limit sign in an area where vehicles cannot stop to read it and pedestrians cannot safely walk.

And Stockland expect people to actually read it and comply?

What an absolute joke.

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Not only is it placed in a difficult place to read it from but often the full T&Cs eg Privacy Policies must be read from an online site as they may comprise up to several pages with further links and references.

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Oh the car park entry sign is impossible but they have them in the car park too. Privacy statements will only be online and should be spelt out in point form.
If you tried to read the signs at an entry, another motorist would drive up into you.

I note that the Security car park says if you don’t agree with conditions you can turn around and leave without charge. Generous of them yes, considering the first 2 or 3 hours of shopping centre car parks are free. Then extortion (but not as expensive as the hospital car parks)

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Not every carpark I have been in, they are at the entrance and once inside nada, zilch, nothing. Some do and some don’t but they expect that on entry you have accepted those conditions, if something happens after you enter and as you immediately leave (as you don’t accept those conditions) they do apply. They can capture your rego, perhaps your photo and they are stored. They mostly all state they are not responsible for any injury or damage even if caused by them or their staff members negligence.

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In Melbourne all metro railway stations and many train carriages have CCTV cameras and some tram and buses also. Plus, there’s the PT cards. We are encouraged to register for our own good.

Personally, I don’t sign up for anything at all. But that doesn’t spare me much, my privacy is invaded time and time again.

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I agree with you! Where is our privacy gone?

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