Daily Comment / Science & Technology

Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy


Μια αποκαλυπτική έρευνα των NY times για την βιομηχανία παρακολούθησης και ανίχνευσης των “Smartphones” στην Αμερικάνικη και κατ’ επέκταση Ευρωπαϊκή ήπειρο.

(Ακολουθούν αποσπάσματα του κειμένου, όλο το άρθρο μπορεί να βρεθεί εδώ: One Nation Tracked

“Every minute of every day, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files,” write the journalists Stuart A. Thompson and Charlie Warzel. “In the cities that the data file covers, it tracks people from nearly every neighborhood and block, whether they live in mobile homes in Alexandria, Va., or luxury towers in Manhattan.” The data exists as dots on a map; longitudes and latitudes that are trivial to associate with specific people when combined with publicly available information (like home addresses). “We followed military officials with security clearances as they drove home at night,” write Thompson and Warzel. “We tracked law enforcement officers as they took their kids to school. We watched high-powered lawyers (and their guests) as they traveled from private jets to vacation properties.”

“In most cases, ascertaining a home location and an office location was enough to identify a person. Consider your daily commute: Would any other smartphone travel directly between your house and your office every day? Describing location data as anonymous is “a completely false claim” that has been debunked in multiple studies, Paul Ohm, a law professor and privacy researcher at the Georgetown University Law Center, told us. “Really precise, longitudinal geolocation information is absolutely impossible to anonymize.”

A Selection of Companies Working in the Location Data Business


We are living in the world’s most advanced surveillance system. This system wasn’t created deliberately. It was built through the interplay of technological advance and the profit motive. It was built to make money. The greatest trick technology companies ever played was persuading society to surveil itself. –

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