Help - London Underground can predict my movements
A very disturbing email has just dropped into my inbox, informing me of an upcoming tube closure:
"On Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 May, Camden Town station will be closed for essential modernisation work. During this closure, you will not be able to enter or exit Camden Town station, however, you will be able to change branches of the Northern line if required."
This is all well and good, but made quite scary by the fact that I had just finalised the details of a meeting with a client in Camden, on the 8th. I work from home. I probably use the tube about 5 times a month. How in the hell did they know I'd be wanting to use Camden Town tube that day?
Of course, this is all part of the brave new(ish) world of Oyster Cards - presumably, when they know they're about to do something disruptive like close a station, they go through the Oyster Card usage records and email everyone that uses their Oyster Card regularly at that station.
I must admit, I hadn't really thought about the privacy implications of using an Oyster Card before this. I don't use the Oyster online service, so I can't check my own journey records (which seems a bit daft to restrict access to personal records based on payment method). However, I can't actually say that I'm that bothered - I like being told when there will be delays, and there are all sorts of more scary ways that we are being watched nowadays. I just need to get at my journey data and find a suitable Google Maps mashup...