Thoughts on Location privacy and location-aware computing (Duckham & Kulik, 2015)

This is a book chapter from Duckham and Kulik, serves to introduce location privacy for both the problem and possible solutions. They highlighted the privacy concerns of revealing too much personal information due to the real-time location-sharing with service provider as well as information collector. As well as the abusive use of location information, which could potentially leads to harmful reality to individuals. The three possible strategies to protect location privacy are: 1. regulatory strategies; 2. privacy policies; 3. anonymity.

The most intriguing part of this article for me is the protection for location privacy. I do agree with the regulatory and privacy policies approach. I doubt, however, is there true anonymity on the internet now? Since our devices are designed to gather information from us, with enough information gathered from location-aware devices, even with masking technology, it is still not hard to identify individual with current technologies. Thus instead of focusing on anonymity, which for me, seems like a backward from information evolution, it is more important to control the access for the information fed by location-aware devices. Regulatory and privacy policies are certainly necessary and effective, however, a effective and authoritative surveillance system must be established to ensure the functionality of regulatory and privacy policies.

Online policing, information giant surveillance, hacking control, and information access control etc, needs to work under a public trusted and relatively transparent yet fair system. A system only serves political agenda to national or regional benefits (such as US government’s accusation on information security of Huawei product) does not fit the criteria. Thus, there is an emergence need to establish information control agencies, works smart and fair, serves international and planetary benefit, to reinforce our location privacy.

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