Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ICYMI 5 Spatial Law and Policy Links From the Past Week

The Centre for Spatial Law and Policy prepares a weekly update for its members. Listed below are links to five stories from the past week that will impact the geospatial community.  More information about the Centre for Spatial Law and Policy can be found here.  

1. Flashlight app kept users in the dark about sharing location data: FTC (Washington Post)  "The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday issued what appears to be its first enforcement action related to location-based information, reaching a settlement with the maker of Brightest Flashlight Free for allegedly hiding the fact that it sold information about the location of its users and the unique string of numbers assigned to a device." 

2. Police fail at map reading  (National) I note that the article references both human error and GPS error as reasons police went to wrong house.

3.   Cellphone data spying: It's not just the NSA  (USA Today)  According to the report, "Law-enforcement records show police can use initial data from a tower dump to ask for another court order for more information, including addresses, billing records and logs of calls, texts and locations."

4. Tech Giants Issue Call for Limits on Government Surveillance of Users  (NYT)  This is an important issue that the geospatial community should closely follow around the world. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies will increasingly turn to geotech companies (and other government agencies) for location data on individuals.

5. Every step you take  (The Economist) A well respected international news magazine, states: "As cameras become ubiquitous and able to identify people, more safeguards on privacy will be needed."

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