Geographical Information as “Personal Information”


Source: Teresa Scassa , University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, August 8, 2010
The rapid proliferation of applications using geographical information combined with the growing accessibility of vast quantities of data of all kinds has given rise to a number of data protection challenges. Information is placed in geographic context by governments, private sector actors, and even by individuals; compilations of data may be sole-authored or crowd-sourced, and are frequently made available over the internet. This paper explores a key question in the data protection context: when is information placed in geographical context personal information? Particular challenges in answering this question include the way in which geographical information may be a key to re-identifying de-identified data, and how it can be used to link aggregate demographic data to specific individuals. For full text of the article on the Social Science Research Network, click here.

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