Monday, March 28, 2011

Your Phone Company is Tracking You

Verräterisches Handy

German Green party politician, Malte Spitz recently got a court order forcing Deutsche Telekom to reveal all the location data it had collected from his mobile phone. German newspaper Zeit has used six months of this data to create a Google Map showing how Spitz' movements were tracked over half a year.

The map animates Spitz' movements over the six months and includes a time-line that lets you check his location on any day and at any time of the day, during the six months. The amount of data collected is amazing (some would say frightening). His location was logged 35,000 times just in that six month period.

The amount of location detail collected by the mobile phone companies means that, for example, we can follow in incredible detail a journey Spitz took on the 31st August 2009 from Berlin to Erlanger.

All privacy issues aside, the Google Map created by Zeit is very impressive. The time-line allows you to visualise Zeit's location on the map for any day and at any time. The animation of the six month's of data includes a speed control, which is useful if you want to animate the whole six months. You can set the animation to play at full-speed and watch as six months of Malte Spitz's life flashes by.
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