Daily Archives: March 26, 2013

Study warns on mobile location data privacy

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Image links to BBC article

“The data used in such calculations are “anonymised” – no actual mobile numbers or personal details are associated with the data.”

“They found from the “mobility traces” – the evident paths of each mobile phone – that only four locations and times were enough to identify a particular user. “In the 1930s, it was shown that you need 12 points to uniquely identify and characterise a fingerprint,” said the study’s lead author Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye of MIT….Dr Hidalgo notes that additional information would still be needed to connect a mobility trace to an individual, but that users freely give away some of that information through geo-located tweets, location “check-ins” with applications such as Foursquare and so on….”We’ve really tried hard to not not frame this as a ‘Big Brother’ situation, as ‘we know everything about you’. But we show that even if there’s no name or email address it can still be personal data, so we need it to be treated accordingly.”