Dutch city of Enschede fined for tracking people using mobile phone Wi-Fi signals, will appeal

The Dutch privacy watchdog said Thursday it has fined the eastern city of Enschede for tracking people using mobile phone Wi-Fi signals in a system used to measure crowds. The city’s municipality said it is appealing the ruling and 600,000-euro ($730,000) fine.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority said that Enschede used sensors to register Wi-Fi signals from phones as a way of establishing how busy it was in the city center. It said that “if you monitor for a longer time which telephone passes which sensor, then counting changes into tracking people.”

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