24 June 2013

Location Data Privacy

The Location Forum, a Georgia–based organization, released a report entitled Location Data Privacy: Guidelines, Assessment and Recommendations to call attention to the potential of geolocation data to reveal intimate details of individual lives and suggest voluntary standards to protect privacy

“We developed these guidelines in the way we did because we felt that there was a need to help companies as well an individuals as well as policy makers to really understand the value of what location data really is,” said Natasha Leger, president of the Forum and the founder and president of ITF Advisors, LLC, a strategy advisory firm.

Ms Ledger commented this week that "we've seen our subscriber base double since we published the Guidelines. Interestingly, significant more interest from Australia, Japan and Europe than the US."

“How many cell phones out there . . . that have location capabilities, have them turned off?” said Arthur Berrill, vice president of technology at DMTI Spatial, a member of the forum’s Location Privacy Council, and a contributor to the report. “The wealth of information you can derive from (a location enabled phone) is outright scary.”

There are commercial firms that can locate mobile phones — and, therefore, mobile users — in real time Leger said. Companies can learn so much about you they cannot only surmise what you’ve done but what you are likely to do.

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