Location, Privacy and Opting Out


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Location, Privacy and Opting Out; presented on July 4th. 2009 at Open Tech 2009 in the University of London Union.

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  • Hello everyone; I’m Gary and I’m part of the Geo Technologies group from Yahoo! You can group the stuff that we do with place and with location into three buckets:Showing someone a place – that’s Yahoo! MapsFinding out where someone is – that’s Fire EagleFinding out where someone means – that’s GeoPlanet and Placemaker… and it’s location and privacy that I’m going to concentrate on for this talk and so that means Fire Eagle …
  • … your entry in the Phone Book
  • … on the local electoral roll
  • In a cold call marketing database
  • … in a mail-shot marketing database
  • … or in the whois entry for your domain.
  • So hang on a moment; in the main you’re assumed to be happy to participate in all of these. You explicitly have to say that you don’t want to reveal this information.
  • You can opt out by going ex-directory
  • You can opt out by going into the version of the register of voters that isn’t told for marketing purposes
  • You can opt out by registering with the Telephone Preference Service
  • You can opt out by registering with the Mailing Preference Service
  • You can opt out by paying your ISP or your domain registrar not to publish your contact information
  • It’s the fact the you continually have to opt out of differing services, in differing ways, sometimes by paying a premium, where that is even possible that probably informed the view of Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems on this topic
  • But the media doesn’t seem to have caught onto this change. The Daily Mail reports that with Latitude you “can track your friends and your family”, but you would have to opt in.And as interest in location grows, the popular and technical media frequently home in on the topic of privacy.Here’s The Register’s coverage of the launch of Fire Eagle and positive coverage it was, though the headline focuses on privacy as opt out by default and the article contains choice phrases such as “already has privacy advocates in a flap” and “expects users to lie every now and then”, which actually is a good thing as we’ll see in a few slides time.It didn’t get much better with the over anxious coverage of Google’s Latitude, as this front page from the London Metro shows; again the headline focuses on privacy as an opt out.Thankfully the tide seems to be turning on coverage such as this, with CNet trying to inject some calming reason into the debate, pointing out the interesting dichotomy of the UK MPs claiming location services, and Latitude in particular, are an invasion of privacy and the Wall Street Journal declaring that they’ve “got over” privacy issues.… and some people just don’t seem that bothered by it at all …
  • Here’s how opt in works where location is concerned. Google’s Latitude is an opt in service and you are able control how much, or how little, information you reveal.Fire Eagle also provides fine grained, opt in, controls; you can specify what an application which connects to Fire Eagle can, and just as importantly, cannot do. And you can choose to hide yourself totally and even purge your location information from Fire Eagle.
  • Now as you saw on the last slide, Fire Eagle has a badge that you can use on WordPress powered blogs. It displays the text “Fire Eagle last spotted me at” followed by a person’s location at whatever level of accuracy they’re comfortable with. Let’s see what a quick web search throw up for this ...Taking the first four of the hits from that search, we have, ah, sorry, that’s my blog, let’s move on, an Ubuntu Linux fan in Colorado, a “creative technofile” in Texas, a travel afficionado in the United States. It’s a shame but the first time I ran this search I came up with the intriguing web page of self described “Apple Kremlinologist and Price Philip worshipper” from New York who was living in Paris, but sadly he seems to have vanished from the ‘net.
  • Your location is both powerful and valuable. It’s far less about where you currently are …
  • … and much more about where you’ve been; home, school, work, holiday. Let’s call this your location stream. It’s deeply personal information. I touched on responsible, well thought out, location services but how do you tell? There’s some pretty crucial questions you should ask yourself before you start to use a location service, any location service. So here’s a list of points you should bear in mind when deciding on whether to use a location service ... call it an “opt in location manifesto”
  • You own your data – always. You can choose to grant worldwide, non-exclusive, revocable access to their location data and it’s use within an application, but your data and any data it generates should always remains within your ownership and control. You should have the right to give or revoke permission to your personal data and any location data you generate at any time. Standard security methods for privacy and protection, such as OAuth or public/private key encryption, give the you the ability to share or remove access easily and immediately, at any time. All data collection is ‘opt-in’ and includes the ability to view, control, and delete any and all locations in the application or stop providing location data at any time, easily and without undue “hassle”.You should be able to understand how your personal data and location will be used before agreeing to any service, in unambiguous and easily understood language that is always readily available. Any changes should be proactively communicated, and cover basic areas of privacy and security such as:• Accuracy – will your location information be accurate at the street, neighborhood or city level?• Location History – will your location information be stored or tracked beyond ‘current’ location? • Public Visibility – will your location be made public or visible outside of your own personal use? • Sharing – will your location be shared with other users, applications, or services in any way? How?Your location data should be protected at all times for both privacy and personal safety, you should demand and expect encryption and authentication controls at every level. Data should never be left vulnerable or exposed to uses other than that which you have given explicit permission.
  • You should be able to define and control the accuracy and privacy of your location as supported within any given application, including separate levels for personal use and public use if possible. You should expect and understand how your location data may be aggregated or obfuscated to prevent ‘reverse identification’ from historical location data patterns stored in the applicationYou should have the right to remove any and all personally identifiable data from the application at any time, and suspend or stop providing location data indefinitely until re-authorized by the user. If you choose to remove personally identifiable information you should expect and understand how your data will be obfuscated or deleted from the application immediately and in it’s entirety. You should know when and how your location is being captured or used within the application, and have the ability to stop or limit access at any time. This provides transparency and trust, while giving you flexibility and control within context of the application.You should understand exactly what personal data and location information is necessary for the service or application, and prohibit access to any additional or unnecessary information unless authorized. If the application supports multiple user experiences dependent on additional information, the functionality and requirements should be clearly communicated and you should be given the option to authorize or restrict additional information as requested.
  • You should know exactly how your data is used and stored beyond its own use within the application, and demand security and privacy controls in place to remove any identifiable information. You should understand that aggregated and anonymous location data can be used for additional features and functionality, and will be responsibly managed by the application in compliance with local, state, and federal laws.You provide their data and consent to applications based on honesty, transparency, and trust with its owners and developers under the terms of service or legal agreements. Any transgression or violation of that honesty and transparency on the part of an application or its developers will not be tolerated, and may be subject to prosecution under local, state, or federal laws.You should have the right to provide a location as your own source of truth, separate from your actual or detected location, and have the stated location respected over the actual location. In other words, you should be able to lie about where you are.
  • These are not decisions someone can make for you. You, as an individual, need to assess whether you feel comfortable with allowing a third party access, albeit limited access, to your data and to your location.
  • Location, Privacy and Opting Out

    1. 1. Location, Privacy and Opting OutOpen Tech 2009, July 4, 2009Gary Gale, Yahoo! Geo Technologies<br />
    2. 2.
    3. 3.
    4. 4. “The (User Location Market) … will nearly triple in revenuethis year, to $1.3 billion from $485 million in 2007, and will reach $8 billion in 2011.”<br />Source: Gartner Research<br />
    5. 5. “Will this year be the year in which all things ‘contextual’, ‘app’, ‘local’, ‘urban’, &apos;tags&apos;, &apos;lidar&apos;, ‘smartphone’, ‘convenience’, &apos;Cell ID&apos;, ‘spontaneity’, ‘infolust’, and ‘GPS’ finally come together in one orgasmic celebration of map-based tracking, finding, knowing and connecting? ... And now that superior geographical information is accessible on-the-go, from in-car navigation to iPhones, the sky is the limit.”<br />Source:http://www.trendwatching.com/trends/halfdozentrends2009/#mapmania<br />
    6. 6. Privacy?<br />“the ability of an individual to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively”<br />Opt Out<br />Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy<br />
    7. 7. The Phone Book<br />Herzogbr on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/herzogbr/2783660249/<br />
    8. 8. The Electoral Roll<br />Museums & Collections on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/20949561@N04/2372734655/<br />
    9. 9. Cold-call Marketing Bases<br />Ianjacobs on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianjacobs/466573832/<br />
    10. 10. Mail-shot Marketing Databases<br />Gwynhafyr on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwynhafyr/3459273879/<br />
    11. 11. Whois Information<br />
    12. 12. MattMcGrath on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmcgrath/3396131555/<br />
    13. 13. Choose to Opt Out<br />Ex-Directory<br />The Phone Book<br />Herzogbr on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/herzogbr/2783660249/<br />
    14. 14. Choose to Opt Out<br />Private Register<br />The Electoral Roll<br />Museums & Collections on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/20949561@N04/2372734655/<br />
    15. 15. Choose to Opt Out<br />Telephone Preference Service<br />Cold-call Marketing Bases<br />Ianjacobs on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianjacobs/466573832/<br />
    16. 16. Choose to Opt Out<br />MailingPreference Service<br />Mail-shot Marketing Databases<br />Gwynhafyr on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwynhafyr/3459273879/<br />
    17. 17. Choose to Opt Out<br />Whois Privacy<br />Whois Information<br />
    18. 18. Opt Out<br />
    19. 19. You already have zero privacy<br />… get over it<br />
    20. 20. Opt In<br />
    21. 21. Moleitau on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackbeltjones/3253226650/<br />
    22. 22. Opt<br />Out<br />In<br />
    23. 23.
    24. 24. “fire eagle last spotted me at”<br />
    25. 25. It’s not about where you are …<br />Alwaysordinary on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/sempre_ordinario/3492703820/<br />
    26. 26. … it’s about where you’ve been<br />Jrusbatch on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/jrusbatch/3626348821/<br />
    27. 27. You should …<br />Be able to view/review/control your location data … at all times<br />Be able to add or remove permission for your location …at any time<br />Be able to know how your location data will be used<br />Have the right to security and to protection<br />Dshalock The Libertarian Emperor of America on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/dshaboy/373805594/<br />
    28. 28. You should …<br />Be able to control the accuracy and privacy of your data<br />Be able to suspend or remove your location…at any time<br />Be able to know how your location data will be used<br />Have the right to give only necessary personal and location data<br />Zingaro I am a gipsy too on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/30208099@N00/3120429812/<br />
    29. 29. You should …<br />Be able to know how your data is stored, is used and for how long<br />Have the right to honesty and transparency at all times<br />Be able to be your own source of truth<br />ERAUMAVEZUMARQUITECTO on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/eraumavezumarquitecto/3506450225/<br />
    30. 30. There comes a point where you realise you’re not on the web, you’re in the web. For better or worse.<br />Source:http://twitter.com/Alfie/statuses/1308056158<br />Jemimahknight on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/10294984@N08/2747495411/<br />
    31. 31. Thank you for listening …<br />www.ygeoblog.com<br />twitter.com/yahoogeo<br />twitter.com/vicchi<br />