Companies are always looking to track your location in order to serve you more relevant ads. You can combat this with in-app settings or privacy-centric software but a company by the name of Adnear is experimenting with a tracking method that you can’t combat: drones. These drones will fly through the air and track your location and movements using Wi-Fi and cellular signals.
It was only a matter of time before drones started monitoring signals from mobile devices. Since early February, several small drones flying around the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles have been determining mobile devices’ locations from Wi-Fi and cellular transmission signals. They are part of an experiment by Singapore-based location marketing firm Adnear, which has offices around the world. The firm told me that, to its knowledge, this is the first time an adtech company has employed drones to collect wireless data. The capture does not involve conversations or personally identifiable information, according to director of marketing and research Smriti Kataria. It uses signal strength, cell tower triangulation, and other indicators to determine where the device is, and that information is then used to map the user’s travel patterns.