U.S. University Tracked 100.000 Cell Phone Users’ Movements
June 5, 2008 | By Peter Bihr |
Another day, another very creepy instance of user tracking: As CNN reports, scientists at Northeastern University used cell phone data to track the whereabouts of 100.000 cell phone users:
Researchers used cell phone towers to track individuals’ locations whenever they made or received phone calls and text messages over six months. In a second set of records, researchers took another 206 cell phones that had tracking devices in them and got records for their locations every two hours over a week’s time period. The study was based on cell phone records from a private company, whose name also was not disclosed.
Not only is this creepy, it’s also most probably illegal (just like the Deutsche Telekom incident): The data came from outside the U.S. because privacy legislation wouldn’t allow it there. (So where the heck did they track, then?)
You can’t just go track citizens’ movements. WTF?