back to article Scrubbed geo-location data not so anonymous after all

Anonymized data collected from GPS-enabled devices may not be as anonymous as you think, according to researchers who show that knowing someone's general home and work locations can be enough to identify an individual uniquely. The findings, by Philippe Golle and Kurt Partridge of PARC, or the Palo Alto Research Center, are …


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  1. Suburban Inmate
    Black Helicopters

    It took THIS EFFING LONG?!?!?!

    An armchair evaluation of data mining methods applied to anonymous PAYG mobile phone location signals would reach the same conclusion. I did just that _years_ ago, and I'm buggered if the spooks aren't up to these tricks already.

  2. Mike Flugennock
    Black Helicopters

    Well, hot damn diggety... more reason why the breakdown of the GPS satellite network is a _good_ thing.

  3. Homard

    Data Mining

    gordon (who is a moron) will be after all of us who don't go to the local labour club. Death sentence to those that go to the conservative club.

    I'd be surprised if the spooks aren't using this data already. If they aren't the intelligence services are pretty thick.

    When plod start using your GPS enabled phone to do you for speeding it will certainly be time to worry : 'we logged you doing a steady 125mph from Peterborough to York - you're nicked sonny'. 'But I was on a train orificer' you reply, to which they say 'oh that old excuse sir ?' as they lock you away.

    The future is bleak. The future is not orange. Turn it off !

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another fine business opportunity

    I bet the grubby little parasites at phorm will be looking at this and wondering how they can 'monetise' another part of our private lives for their personal benefit. I wonder what they might offer us in return? The future might be:

    "Why just hang out with your old, irrelevant friends? By tracking you everywhere you go, StalkWise(TM) can suggest new, relevant friends for you to hang out with. You'll see less people and have lots more, relevant fun! StalkWise(TM) also protects you against crime, by flagging a warning on the screen of your mobile if you accidentally wander into a dodgy neighbourhood or a high street bank. Your data is totally safe with us, unless you go to a mosque and a tube station on the same day, in which case we'll have to tell the Met*.

    *NOTE: By agreeing to terms and conditions, you agree that StalkWise(TM) cannot be held responsible for any death at Stockwell Tube that may occur as a result of your religious or transport choices."

  5. elderlybloke

    I am ODD

    I carry a cell/mobile phone in my car,

    It only gets turned on when there is an emergency.

    It has only been used about four times in the couple of years that I have had it.

    I am of the older generation and can live happily without chattering all day long on the phone.

  6. Osiris


    With respect to the copper, who would believe that a train in this country ever goes faster than a standstill?

  7. Eddy Ito

    Another shocker?

    I say give those boys a PhD in DuH!

  8. Homard

    @Osiris & @elderlybloke

    @Osiris - point taken ! Yes I see now that I'm an eternal optimist !! :-) The train is not stood still, it merely has yet to move.

    @elderlybloke - why are *you* odd ??? I wish everyone was like you. At least that way you don't end up stuck on a stationary train while the city wide-boy crammed in at the other end of the train talks shit at such a high volume that you can hear it on mars. If guys like that continue doing using the old mobile dog-and-bone to piss off fellow travellers, I recon we'll see the first public lynching by joe public of this kind. So thank you for being one of those kind considerate souls who doesn't use their mobile in public places ! :-)

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