Popular lifestyle and utility apps have long raised privacy concerns about their collection and use of personally identifiable information, but the recent Strava “heatmap” issue has reminded us that privacy risks are not confined to PII.
Though arguably personal data in some jurisdictions, raw location data and metadata are often disregarded as low-risk anonymous data. However, as the Location Data Forum noted in its 2013 Location Data Privacy Guidelines, Assessments and Recommendations, “[t]he power, benefits, and risks associated with location data are in its capacity to infer more personally identifiable information than the face value of the original information.”
As location data becomes more ubiquitous and accessible by more parties (both governmental and private), we need to be concerned about the broad collection, use and potential use of location data and metadata.
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