Privacy Invasive Geo-Mashups and the Limits of Privacy Law
Source: Mark Burdon, Queensland University of Technology, Journal of Law, Technology and Policy, No. 1, 2010
Abstract: Online technological advances are pioneering the wider distribution of geospatial information for general mapping purposes. The use of popular web-based applications, such as Google Maps, is ensuring that mapping based applications are becoming commonplace amongst Internet users which has facilitated the rapid growth of geo-mashups. These user generated creations enable Internet users to aggregate and publish information over specific geographical points. This article identifies privacy invasive geo-mashups that involve the unauthorized use of personal information, the inadvertent disclosure of personal information and invasion of privacy issues. Building on Zittrain’s Privacy 2.0, the author contends that first generation information privacy laws, founded on the notions of fair information practices or information privacy principles, may have a limited impact regarding the resolution of privacy problems arising from privacy invasive geo-mashups. Principally because geo-mashups have different patterns of personal information provision, collection, storage and use that reflect fundamental changes in the Web 2.0 environment. The author concludes by recommending embedded legal, organizational technical and social solutions to minimize the risks arising from privacy invasive geo-mashups that could lead to the establishment of guidelines to assist courts and regulators with the protection of privacy in geo-mashups.
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