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Westfield Ditches Ticketless Car Parking Over Privacy Concerns

Shopping centre juggernaut Westfield has had to remove one of their latest ticketless parking systems over fears that it could allow a shopper’s car to be unlawfully tracked.

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The new feature works by sending an SMS notification to alert a driver when they enter a Westfield carpark or when their free parking period is about to end.

Shopping centre parkers are just required to sign up with a name, a license plate number and a phone number. The problem here is that there’s no requirement from the user to provide a real license plate number or proof that the number belonged to their car.

In this case, it can make a stalker’s job much easier. Any person of the public can punch in a license plate number of a random and be notified of when that vehicle or person drives into a Westfield Shopping Centre.

Constellation Research’s principal analyst Steve Wilson told itNews that the service could have breached the Australian Privacy Act.

“I should think that [using the service to get alerts] about the movement of a car from a car park’s CCTV, without the driver agreeing or even knowing, would breach the Privacy Act,” he said.

The ticketless parking service was previously in operation at Westfield Miranda, Hurstville, Bondi Junction and Doncaster in Victoria.

The service has currently been suspended whilst an internal investigation is taking place.

[via Business Insider]

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