Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Big Brother, here for your convenience

So we got home from Colorado this evening, arrived at Logan Airport, and went over to the parking lot. I pulled out my garage ticket, stuck it into the payment machine (they now ask you to pre-pay before going to your car), stuck in my credit card to pay, and got my receipt. Helpfully, the receipt told me which row my car was parked in, in case I had forgotten.

How the blithering heck did it know where my car was parked?

I mean, this was an anonymously-taken ticket from a week ago; they *might* infer which level I might be parked in (since it was the one they were encouraging at the time), but I parked in one of a number of open rows. Yes, I did scribble the location on my ticket, but I'd be damned impressed at any OCR software that can figure out my handwriting.

My best guess (and I'm open to simpler explanations) is that they're going through Long-Term Parking each night, recording the license plate numbers of all of the cars parked there, looking them up, and cross-referencing them with the credit card submitted for payment. (Or that they are photographing your license plate as you take your ticket when entering, and doing the cross-reference that way.) That's a non-trivial piece of engineering, but entirely feasible. But man -- that's kind of creepy, and it wouldn't even have occurred to me that they were doing it if it wasn't for that helpful line on the receipt...
Tags: privacy

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