Bluetooth Tracking System Monitors Concert Goers

Usually it's GPS doing the monitoring and tracking for the so-called "Big Brother," but lately Bluetooth has been lending a hand as well. The pervasive short-range communications protocol is found on nearly every mobile telephone available today, making it perfect for tracking thousands upon thousands of concert goers.

In fact, around 80,000 or so festival attendees over in Belguim are expected to be tracked via Bluetooth, but those responsible for the initiative have assured the world that privacy is of the utmost concern. Reportedly, a team from the University of Ghent in Belgium is setting up 36 Bluetooth scanners across the music site in order to track those in attendance as part of a research project. Naturally, the research is set to provide vital information to retail and security sectors, primarily notifying those who wish to know where exactly folks flocked to and when.

The scanners only collect the MAC address of each handset, which is said to be completely separated from the actual phone number or other handset identifiers. In other words, it only shows that a device is registered in this place at this time, but it cannot link any of that information to personal details. Still, the project is apt to provide loads of precious information to marketing suits, with the eventual goal being to track movements via Bluetooth in real time. So, are any of you just a little freaked out about this? We know they say this is totally non-invasive, but the "tin foil hat guy" on our shoulder begs to differ.