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Use of Bluetooth technology for traffic studies


Transport Canberra and City Services utilises Bluetooth technology, such as that found in mobile telephones, as part of its traffic studies. It can gauge vehicular speeds and travel times as well as gauge the route choices that people make. It is particularly useful in determining the level of ‘rat running’ in suburbs.

The technique is used in several Australian jurisdictions, such as Queensland, South Australia, NSW and Victoria, as a cost-effective means to acquire travel information. It is more convenient than undertaking number plate surveys that were formerly used to capture travel data.

The technology uses data receivers and computer software to record the travel information. It is not possible to identify individuals from the data as the technology does not capture any personal information.

If you have any questions in regards to the use of this technology, please contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Privacy statement

Transport Canberra and City Services uses Bluetooth technology to provide input to traffic management surveys. This Bluetooth technology captures the Media Access Control address from Bluetooth enabled devices in vehicles. These devices include mobile phones, ipads, tablets etc. The technology uses transponders to time and date stamp the Bluetooth device as it enters, crosses and exits a network allowing for the information to inform on speed and route choices but without identifying the user. The system can be used to track pedestrian traffic, cyclists and motor vehicles all without specifically identifying the individual.

Due to the inherent anonymity of the Media Access Control address it is impossible for the directorate to extract any personal information from that address. Members of the public can prevent the directorate from collecting MAC address information from their personal devices by disabling the devices’ Bluetooth functionality, or making their Bluetooth devices non-discoverable or hidden.

The Bluetooth technology utilised by the directoratemeets the requirements stipulated under the Surveillance Device Act 2004 to ensure privacy of individuals.