"CONTROVERSIAL tracking technology will be deployed in Brisbane's CBD under a plan to snoop on visitors' movements throughout the Queen Street Mall and South Bank.
The technology, from UK-based company Path Intelligence, intercepts mobile phone signals to track each person as they move around the area.
But while the company insists it doesn't collect private data and all information is anonymous, a privacy expert has warned it is "basically spying" and could breach Australian law."
"Australian Privacy Foundation vice-chair David Vaile said the technology misused the telephone network by using it to snoop on unsuspecting visitors.
He said any such technology should have an open and transparent privacy assessment so citizens could be comfortable their personal data wasn't being collected and that the system wasn't vulnerable to abuse or hacking.
"They're basically spying on you . . . The phone system wasn't put there to enable people to spy on other people by tracking them, its only purpose was for facilitating calls," he said.
Mr Vaile said the technology could be in breach of telecommunication law, and differing international definitions of "anonymous" meant such tracking systems could also breach the Privacy Act. "