Groups call for ethical guidelines on location-tracking technology


As a smartphone app Look at each of our steps, this week a team of technologists from the United States and the United Kingdom provided guidelines for the ethical use of location data. Leaders of the American Geographical Society and the UK’s mapping agency, the Ordnance Survey, want companies to be committed to 10 policies that reduce data collection and actively seek consent from users.

Chris Tucker, chairman of the American Geographical Society, a private research and advocacy group, says the Locus Charter aims to capture the potential benefits and risks of the world of invisible real-time tracking: from your weather app to your car’s GPS system, or internationally, state-supported communications Which puts tabs on people around the world.

“We all had to start jumping Covid And the ethical implications of communication tracing, which relates to location applications and geolocation data, “We understand that there are no international guidelines or policies for the application of location tech. This is a big void. “

Tucker said the epidemic highlighted the dual nature of location information. Governments can use location data to prevent outbreaks by notifying potential exposures. But it is everyone’s position, where they went and with whom they took the risk of a state-run threat.

The Locus Charter is not a set of laws or regulations, but 10 guidelines that are intended to guide an organization’s thinking about the ethical use of location data. Understand how to protect vulnerable people in points and combine location data sets with other data to identify individuals.

The guidelines respond to concerns about the use of location data. Vice Report on Muslim Prayer apps apps including Muslim Pro, built to help Muslims maintain their prayer schedules but many users were unaware the apps kept this data, linked it to their IDs and sent it to data brokers contracted with the U.S. government.

In the future, Tucker said, concerned researchers or engineers could point to guidelines in the Locus Charter to prevent such measures. Rather than simply saying “bad,” they were able to point out that the app had collected more information than necessary, that their users were, for the most part, a at-risk population, and did not seek notice or consent for other uses.

“People need something to take some risk when they’re up against this guy,” Tucker says.

When the lockdown started, Google, New York Times, And other agencies charted how people were evacuated in the first weeks of the epidemic. This information sheds light on how people seeking asylum have affected occupations and incomes. But many were amazed at how easily these companies could access our location data, leaving tabs wherever we went and tapping on many databases.

At the same time, the alphabet sidewalk labs Excluded plans For the so-called Smart City in Toronto’s Quayside. Numerous residents were raised Privacy There are concerns about plans to embed sensors for 24/7 data collection, including passenger data. Nadine Alameh, chief executive of the Open Geophysical Consortium, which develops technical standards for geopathetic information, says he describes them as “Google Earth of steroids,” especially related to smart cities. In most proposals for smart cities, residents ’location data is collected only by the qualities of where they live, as data informs a more sustainable city structure as trade closes. He hopes that locus charter companies will consider the benefits And Massive damage to entire cities.

For now, the guidelines for the Locus Charter are voluntary. But some proponents see it as a step in the direction of California’s consumer privacy law, or the EU. General information security control.

“At some point we need to control these huge platforms that can capture all this data,” Alamah said. “And the Locks Charter, as I see it, starts a conversation about how to control yourself.”

Tucker said the draft charters are talking to other groups about supporting the policies. Eventually, the conversation will move toward control, but for now, Tucker says, even this investigative move is important.


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