The Canadian Information Commissioner Ann Cavoukian has this week issues a warning to consumers about the risks associated with personal smart phones and other devices automatically collecting data on the user's location.
In a report published by her office, Cavoukian argues that privacy should be designed into these systems in order to avoid mobile operators and third parties building up vast logs of information about an individual's personal movemnents without their prior consent. At present, the majority of people are unaware of the privacy implications of much of the technology they carry around in their pocket.
There is a reasonable expectation, when one uses a mobile phone, that their operator will from time to time assess their location in order to determine factors such as localised signal strength, yet there is no need for such information to be logged on an ongoing basis - just as it is at present.
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Cavoukian's comments are a welcome contribution to the debate and will, one would hope, raise public awareness of this issue. Only by increasing public awareness and concern surrounding this issue will mobile operators see a worth in adopting privacy concerns as a key business consideration.