Monday, April 30, 2012

What Your Phone Company Knows About You

Cal Flyn, a journalist for The Daily Telegraph, has used Google Maps to map one year of her movements. Using Freedom of Information laws Cal obtained all the location data held about her by her mobile phone company.

Digital surveillance: what my phone records say about me, animates through the year's location data showing Cal's to and from work, visiting her parents in Scotland and everywhere else she visited.

The Daily Telegraph article is obviously inspired by German Green party politician, Malte Spit's Google Map, published in the German newspaper Zeit last year. Verräterisches Handy uses Google Maps to animate Spitz' movements over six months.

 The amount of data collected by Spit's and Flyn's phone companies is amazing (some would say frightening). Spit's location was logged 35,000 times in a six month period. Flyn's map shows her whereabouts for a whole year, with only two days missing (when on vacation and she had left her phone charger at home).

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