Westfield has ditched its ticketless carpark feature over privacy issues

Westfiled Shopping Centre. Photo: Getty Images

Shopping centre giant Westfield has been forced to remove a ticketless carpark feature after fears it could lead to cars being tracked.

According to itNews, the feature which sends an SMS notification to alert someone when they enter a car park and free parking is ending, has the potential to allow anyone to track someone’s vehicle.

Currently, the way the SMS feature works is you sign up using no more than a name, license plate number and a phone number. However, there is no requirement to provide proof the license plate number is owned by the user.

This means any person could put in any license plate number and be notified when that vehicle enters a certain Westfield location, providing them with their physical location.

Such a gap in security could be a major concern, especially for those in domestic violence situations.

Principal analyst at Constellation Research Steve Wilson told itNews that the service had potentially 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 feature which was available at Westfield Miranda, Hurstville, Bondi Junction and Doncaster in Victoria has now been temporarily suspended pending an internal investigation.

There’s loads more at itNews.

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