The city of San Jose has a surprise for visitors during Super Bowl weekend – they will be tracking all Verizon and T-Mobile cell phone users.
Ben Roschke of Team San Jose, an economic development organization explained the system to local reporters.
“Their technology tracks cellphone usage. Cellphones tend to ping about 150 times a day from the phone, their GPS location to a nearby tower,” he said.
Showing that Californians are already used to government overreach and intrusion into their daily lives, locals seem to be in favor of the plan.
“I don’t see the harm in it,” Jamealle Spain said. “I mean I can see the potential harm, but I think in this case, in this scenario the way they’re using the data, just so that they know how much to staff, what they should do, what places should be opened, what places should be closed.”
Chris Arkley, manager of the San Pedro Square Market Bar, said it makes sense to track people during the Super Bowl, regardless of repercussions.
“It’s always gonna be a time of invasion of privacy a little bit, no matter how much they say they’re not gonna look at stuff. But with an event of this size, I know for me running this bar, it’s unpredictable — we don’t know where people are going to be,” Arkley said, explaining that the data will allow the city to better prepare for future events.