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July 6, 2009 / compassioninpolitics

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Location Enabled Web

The Center for Democracy and Technology highlights the advantages and disadvantages of the location enabled web :

The ubiquity of increasingly high-powered mobile devices has already spawned the Internet’s first generation of location-based services and applications. As the accuracy of location data improves and the expense of calculating and obtaining it declines, location may well come to pervade the online experience. While the increasing availability of location information paves the way for exciting new applications and services, the increasingly easy availability of location information raises several different kinds of privacy concerns. Ensuring that location information is transmitted and accessed in a privacy-protective way is essential to the future success of location-based applications and services.

Because individuals often carry their mobile devices with them, location data may be collected everywhere and at any time, often without user interaction, and it may potentially describe both what a person is doing and where he or she is doing it. For example, triangulation of an individual’s mobile phone can reveal the fact that he was at a particular medical clinic at a particular time. The ubiquity of location information may also increase the risks of stalking and domestic violence if perpetrators are able to use (or abuse) location-based services to gain access to location information about their victims.

What do you think about the rise of the location enabled web?

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