Report: GPS not as private as you think – WWMT-TV

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

Report: GPS not as private as you think
There’s currently no federal law that regulates GPS privacy, meaning it’s not illegal for private companies to collect, use or sell your personal information.

Luigi Cappel‘s insight:

People think GPS apps are private? Your location based data is being sold and used on a daily basis by retail chains, by Government departments, by insurance companies, by charities and much more.


I do agree there should be laws though, just as there are anti spam laws. You should have the right to know who has data about you and what that data is, if for no other reason so that you know whether the data they have is factual.


When I was 17 I bought a pedal for my guitar on finance, it was faulty and I returned it, got a credit for it because they couldn’t replace it. Somehow the retailler didn’t get the credit right and my credit rating was jeopardized for about a year until I found out that it had incorrect information on it and then got the retailer to correct it.


An example of why a car manufacturer might want your GPS data is to know where their cars are based (they don’t get told when your car is sold when it is out of warranty), so they can maintain their regional car parts stocks and determine where to set up car service departments which may not be attached to sales yards. In future they will be able to use telematics to tell you that your car needs tuning, or a new cam belt, or a computer software upgrade, or offer you a service deal when they are quiet and can see you are in the area. There are lots of good reasons for companies to have information about you. There should however be registers or ways for you to query what information they have about you and where appropriate you should have the ability to revoke their right to have access to your data, or justify to you that the benefits outway the cons.


Bottom line, privacy is gone. Using tools like Google and Facebook Graph your lives are pretty much public already. Privacy in many cases is an illusion anyway as anyone who has ever lived in a small town will attest to.



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About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
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