Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

They know where you are

10.11.2008
How can we keep our personal location private in a society where GPS-enabled devices and internet-connected computing is ubiquitous? That is the question posed in the current issue of the International Journal of Electronic Business by a computing and legal specialist in Belgium.

Mobile phones, personal digital assistants, Wi-Fi hotspots, web-connected mp3 players, SatNav devices, even washing machines that connect to the internet-…the list of gadgets with an inbuilt computer continues to grow.

With this growth, the idea of ubiquitous computing will soon become a reality. But, Maya Gadzheva of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT, at the Catholic University of Leuven, in Belgium, warns that we should take care of our privacy.

It is now possible to obtain the precise geographical location of any mobile phone user at any time, explains Gadzheva. However, she points out that with the advent of internet-capable devices and global positioning systems (GPS) the number and type of mobile devices that can reveal an individual's whereabouts is increasing rapidly. This will not necessarily be destructive, but it does require consideration in terms of the legal and societal implications.

GPS-enabled devices offer us many benefits. The most obvious application is providing map and route information to drivers and others. Such devices can also offer restaurant, theatre, and other entertainment recommendations based on your whereabouts. They can allow parents to keep track of their children for the sake of safety. They can track stolen goods and help in their retrieval. They can also be the enabler in networked games and events.

Researchers active in the area of ubiquitous computing envisage a society where every user will interact with hundreds or thousands of embedded or mobile computing devices. These devices will, and do, perform actions based on the context of their users and location information.

According to Gadzheva there is a serious downside to ubiquitous computing that has to be taken into account as society begins to use such devices and systems more widely. "Ubiquitous access to information anywhere and anytime and the ever faster, smaller and omnipresent computing devices will enable the constant collection and transmission of personal data without it being apparent to the user." This, she says, means that maintaining privacy in a future ubiquitous computing society will become increasingly complex if not impossible.

"The fact that the citizens are aware of their rights and that they use them is one of the most vital conditions to ensure effective privacy protection," she says. "What is still missing is a convincing approach for the development of ubiquitous computing environment that could guarantee acceptable levels of personal privacy in the future."

Albert Ang | alfa
Further information:
http://www.inderscience.com/search/index.php?action=record&rec_id=21181

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure
15.01.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing
10.01.2018 | University of Minnesota

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>