OK people, we need to discuss billboards. Yes, we really must.
At best, these giant corporate placards are problematic — they loom garishly over us, clutter our landscapes, and intrude into our communities with no respect for local aesthetics or preferences. Now, however, billboards are getting a high-tech reboot, allowing advertisers to invade not only our places, but also our privacy.
Having to see billboards everywhere is bad enough. Far worse, though, is that the modernized, digitalized, computerized structures can see you — and track you.
Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, having already splattered the country with tens of thousands of billboards, has revealed that it’s partnering with AT&T and other data snoops to erect “smart” billboards that will know and record when you drive or walk past one.