Location-based Services

I found this article, “A critical evaluation of location-based services and their potential” by Raper et al., to be an important one to read. I felt that they did a good job of covering all the important aspects required to form a base knowledge of L.B.S.’s. Since the article was the first article of the Journal of Location-based Services, their goal was to provide a survey of the key issues and background aspects of L.B.S.’s. After reading multiple other articles on this topic, it is clear they delivered a strong summary, especially the technological background. They could have improved, however, upon the implications to businesses and the relationship between them, consumers and Location-based services.

An important aspect that was lightly touched upon in this article was the potential privacy implications that arise with the development of tracking capabilities in L.B.S.’s. As was noted on page 16, an important purpose of tracking analysis is the extrapolation of past travel behavior as well as the prediction of future travel behavior. Further research should be conducted into the ways in which people’s location data is stored and what it can be used for after this data has been used for its original purpose. Instead of (or perhaps in addition to) the traditional maxim ‘you are what you buy’, a new one is being developed: ‘you are where you’ve been’. While I don’t agree that it is such a terrible prospect, caution should be taken to try and limit corporate/government intrusion into the lives of an unsuspecting public.




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