#CyberFLASH: You’re being followed: New digital tracking technologies keep tabs on your every move

do-not-track

Rap star Jay Z last came to Toronto in January and his concert at Air Canada Centre was packed, drawing thousands of fans to the arena in the downtown core. To gauge the success of this concert by the hip-hop mogul of “Empire State of Mind” and Beyonce-spouse fame, promoters in the past would have typically relied on the estimated attendance, while nearby businesses could look at how flush their cash registers were by night’s end.

Now, thanks to the ubiquitous cellphone, Toronto-based company Viasense Inc. can figure out that roughly 13,000 people filled the stands, but they also know how much time concertgoers spent at the show, where they went before and after, and where they ultimately spent the night. Viasense doesn’t know the concertgoers’ names or what they look like, but the marketing and analytics company can recognize the unique identifier linked to the cellphones people carry and trace their paths. “We were able to see exactly the makeup of the audience,” says Mossab Basir, founder and CEO of Viasense.

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