When location data is linked with other data about people and the world we live in, we can gain important insights and create new services that greatly improve how we live, work and travel. With these new data applications and opportunities, there are emerging privacy and ethical considerations. So that we can continue to benefit from widespread use of location data, it is important that data is used in a way that mitigates concerns and retains public confidence.
Sounds like the government is helping businesses to understand how much location data they can collect and cross-link with other personal information without pushing it too far. Shouldn’t the government instead work on legislation to protect citizen’s personal information from the claws of international corporations?
The project’s oversight group includes, among others, representatives from Telefónica and Mastercard. Both companies don’t need location data—other than the data they already have—to be successful. To provide their service, Telefónica need to know how many people connect to a cell tower at any given time and how much bandwidth these people require. Telefónica doesn’t need to know where I drink my beer and what transport I use to get there. Likewise, the only information Mastercard need to worry about is whether I pay back my credit card debt but not if I get my suit from Savile Row or my local Marks & Spencer.