Monday, August 17, 2015

Where's Will Ockenden?

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation wants your help in tracking the movements of Will Ockenden. To help you in this task ABC has released all of Will's private cell phone data.

ABC aren't trying to ruin Will's life by releasing his private data. In fact Will Ockenden is one of ABC's own reporters. The point of the exercise is instead to reveal how Australia's new data retention laws can be used by the Australian government to track all aspects of its citizens' lives.

In the article How Your Phone Tracks Your Every Move ABC has created a number of visualizations revealing what they have discovered about Will from his phone records. These include an interactive map showing Will's location every time his phone communicated with a tower for an outgoing call, a text message or an internet connection.

Another interactive map uses the data to explore patterns in Will's movements. In this map you can filter the data to look for patterns of where Will is most likely to be by day of the week and time of the day, based on his previous movements.

ABC are intrigued as to what other information the Australian government can gleam from your 'private' cell phone data. They have therefore released Will Ockenden's phone records. So feel free to use Will's data in your own mapped visualizations and see what else you can discover about Will's life based on his cell phone usage.

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