by Jennifer Chan, US News and World Report, Op-Eds, November 23, 2012
Dr. Jennifer Chan, a Public Voices fellow at the OpEd Project, is the director of Global Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and an associate faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.
In the wake of Sandy’s destruction, digital volunteers mobilized again. From their homes and offices, using iPads and laptops, hundreds of volunteers crowd-sourced information and took on microtasks to help FEMA and other agencies process large swaths of information and speed humanitarian response.
For instance, in the first 48 hours after the hurricane, 381 aerial photos collected by the Civil Air Patrol were viewed by hundreds of volunteers, with the goal of quickly giving an overview of the extent of storm and flood damage. This project was called the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap MapMill project. In response to a request from FEMA, project developer Schuyler Erle volunteered to launch and lead the project. By mid-afternoon November 2nd, more than 3,000 volunteers had assessed 5,131 images, viewing them more than 12,000 times. Just a week later, more than 24,000 images had been assessed. Each view from a digital volunteer—a mother, a researcher, a friend, a colleague—helped FEMA determine the degree of damage along the eastern seaboard, assessing the condition of buildings, roads, and houses, with the aim of helping the agency in its post-disaster recovery and planning. That’s an amazing effort.
But did it actually help?
For full text of the op-ed, visit How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better – US News and World Report.
- How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better (usnews.com)
- Crowdsourcing the Evaluation of Post-Sandy Building Damage Using Aerial Imagery (irevolution.net)
Press Release, Sen. Franken, Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Today, U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced legislation that would require companies like Apple and Google, as well as app developers to receive express consent from users of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets before sharing information about those users’ location with third parties. The bill, called the Location Privacy Protection Act, would close current loopholes in federal law to ensure that consumers know what location information is being collected about them and allow them to decide if they want to share it.
“After listening to expert testimony at the hearing I chaired last month on mobile technology and privacy and hearing from anti-domestic violence groups in Minnesota who said this kind of technology can be exploited by abusers, I concluded that our laws do too little to protect information on our mobile devices,” said Sen. Franken. “Geolocation technology gives us incredible benefits, but the same information that allows emergency responders to locate us when we’re in trouble is not necessarily information all of us want to share with the rest of the world. This legislation would give people the right to know what geolocation data is being collected about them and ensure they give their consent before it’s shared with others.”
“This legislation is a strong step toward ensuring that consumers’ geolocation information is protected from being collected and stored without their consent,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “As smartphone technology continues to advance, it is vitally important that we keep pace with new developments to make sure consumer data is secure from being shared or sold without proper notification to consumers.”
The bill is endorsed by the Center for Democracy and Technology, Consumers Union, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Center for Victims of Crime, National Consumers League, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group.
To read a one-page summary of the legislation, click here.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
Apple Lied: Filed Patent for Mobile Device Tracking, Infosec Island, Friday, April 29, 2011
Apple’s claim that the geolocation tracking of its customers via a stealth file maintained in devices running the iOS operating system are, well, “patently” false. … Apple filed for a patent in September of 2009 titled “Location Histories for Location Aware Devices” with the intent to develop services based around the company’s ability to locate and track mobile devices running the iOS operating system. The abstract of the patent reads as follows:
“A location aware mobile device can include a baseband processor for communicating with one or more communication networks, such as a cellular network or WiFi network. In some implementations, the baseband processor can collect network information (e.g., transmitter IDs) over time. Upon request by a user or application, the network information can be translated to estimated position coordinates (e.g., latitude, longitude, altitude) of the location aware device for display on a map view or for other purposes. A user or application can query the location history database with a timestamp or other query to retrieve all or part of the location history for display in a map view.” …
For full text of the article, via Apple Lied: Filed Patent for Mobile Device Tracking.
Posted by Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Fortune, April 27, 2011 10:16 AM, Source: iPhone Tracker
Cupertino responds to the hysteria with a 10-part Q&A and the promise of a software update. “Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.” So begins Apple’s (AAPL) response to the controversy that has been mounting since last Wednesday when two British researchers released an open source application that let Apple’s customers see — in the form of multicolor maps — the location data stored on their iPhones and 3G iPads. …
For full text of the article, click here.
- Apple releases iPhone tracking Q&A: Denies spying, tips incoming traffic updates (slashgear.com)
- Apple: We Are “Not Tracking The Location Of Your iPhone” (fastcompany.com)
ABSTRACT: Forensics on mobile devices is not new. Law enforcement and academia have been performing forensics on mobile devices for the past several years. Forensics on mobile third party applications is new. There have been third party applications on mobile devices before today, but none that provided the number of applications available in the iTunes app store. Mobile forensic software tools predominantly addresses “typical” mobile telephony data – contact information, SMS, and voicemail messages. These tools overlook analysis of information saved in third-party apps. Many third-party applications installed in Apple mobile devices leave forensically relevant artifacts available for inspection. This includes information about user accounts, timestamps, geolocational references, additional contact information, native files, and various media files. This information can be made readily available to law enforcement through simple and easy-to-use techniques.
For full text of the article, visit Third Party Application Forensics on Apple Mobile Devices.
Citation: Alex Levinson, Bill Stackpole, Daryl Johnson, “Third Party Application Forensics on Apple Mobile Devices,” hicss, pp.1-9, 2011 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2011
- So What If iPhones Spy User Locations – InformationWeek (news.google.com)
- Researcher: Apple iPhone location tracking has been no secret (macworld.com)
- 3 Major Issues with the Latest iPhone Tracking “Discovery” (alexlevinson.wordpress.com)
- How police have obtained iPhone, iPad tracking logs (news.cnet.com)
- How police have obtained iPhone, iPad tracking logs (news.cnet.com)