Title: ASPRS special session in Error/Accuracy Assessment and LBS Privacy Issues
The GIS Division is organizing two special session in Error/Accuracy Assessment and LBS Privacy Issues for the 2012 ASPRS national conference in Sacramento, CA. We are now collecting abstracts for these sessions.
One of the major problems of using geo-spatial data is the availability of data and information at multiple spatial scales or resolutions and temporal scales. The end result of using multi-scale data/information is getting varying amount of error in final outcomes. In order to increase accuracy of the final product, it is imperative to know the error amount associated with final outcomes depending upon the scale used in a study.
The purpose of this session is to increase awareness about sources and causes of error when using multi-scale geo-spatial data, and to introduce methods existing to reduce error or establish a functional relationship between scale and error to garner knowledge about error variance associated with scale change.
Advancement in geo-spatial technologies has enabled collection and generation of a large amount of geospatial data. Recently there has been an explosion of location-based services (LBS), which use these spatial data to provide location information about an individual’s or vehicle’s location accurately and precisely. Location-based services singularly do not violate personal information but by coordinating location with other types of information, such as an individual’s address, these services can provide personal information to a third party, thereby leading to location privacy violation. Given the recent popularity of location-based services (e.g., smart phones, Twitter’s location API, Google Latitude, etc.), it is imperative to understand the causes and consequences of location privacy violation both in terms of research advancements and legal implications.
Papers are invited in both sessions. If you would like to contribute to this stream of sessions, please contact us (Contact information is below)
Please note that the deadline for abstract submission is August 1, 2011. Finally, please forward this announcement to colleagues that may be interested.
Additional information regarding the conference may be found at:
David Alvarez Davidalvarez76 [at] gmail [dot] com
Dr Bandana Kar Bandana [dot] Kar [at] usm [dot] edu
We look forward to seeing everyone in 2012
By Alice Lipowicz, Federal Computer Week, Jun 23, 2011
The General Services Administration wants to help federal agencies go mobile with its new Making Mobile Gov project to raise awareness about using mobile devices to reach the public, a senior official announced. …
For full text of the article visit GSA expands outreach on helping federal agencies go mobile — Federal Computer Week.
FCC steps into privacy debate over location-based data, announcing forum
Technology, Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2011
The Federal Communications Commission is stepping into the simmering privacy debate over location data collected through cellphones and mobile devices, announcing a forum next month on the issue that could lead to rules governing the coveted information. … The FCC said Tuesday it had invited Apple, Google and other technology companies, along with wireless providers, consumer groups and academic experts, to participate in a public education forum in Washington on June 28. Among the topics: how location-based services work, their benefits and risks, and information parents should know about location tracking of children who use mobile devices.
Full text of the article via FCC steps into privacy debate over location-based data, announcing forum | Technology | Los Angeles Times.
- FCC, FTC To Look Into Cellphone Tracking (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
- FCC, FTC to hold mobile location privacy forum (news.cnet.com)
- Congress, FCC look into Apple tracking (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Senate has more questions for Apple, Google, Facebook on privacy (arstechnica.com)
by Paul A Zandbergen, Department of Geography. University of New Mexico
Abstract: The 3G iPhone was the ﬁrst consumer device to provide a seamless integration of three positioning technologies: Assisted GPS (A-GPS), WiFi positioning and cellular network positioning. This study presents an evaluation of the accuracy of locations obtained using these three positioning modes on the 3G iPhone. A-GPS locations were validated using surveyed benchmarks and compared to a traditional low-cost GPS receiver running simultaneously. WiFi and cellular positions for indoor locations were validated using high resolution orthophotography. Results indicate that A-GPS locations obtained using the 3G iPhone are much less accurate than those from regular autonomous GPS units (average median error of 8 m for ten 20-minute ﬁeld tests) but appear sufficient for most Location Based Services (LBS). WiFi locations using the 3G iPhone are much less accurate (median error of 74 m for 58 observations) and fail to meet the published accuracy specifications. Positional errors in WiFi also reveal erratic spatial patterns resulting from the design of the calibration effort underlying the WiFi positioning system. Cellular positioning using the 3G iPhone is the least accurate positioning method (median error of 600 m for 64 observations), consistent with previous studies. Pros and cons of the three positioning technologies are presented in terms of coverage, accuracy and reliability, followed by a discussion of the implications for LBS using the 3G iPhone and similar mobile devices.
Zandbergen, Paul A. 2009. Accuracy of iPhone Locations: A Comparison of Assisted GPS, WiFi and Cellular Positioning. Transactions in GIS, 13(s1): 5-26
For full text of the article, click here.
- Android phones keep location cache, too, but it’s harder to access (arstechnica.com)
- Why Apple Tracks You Via iPhone: It’s Not Why You Think (pcworld.com)
You have heard the word, mobile is the new hot thing. You have convinced your management to start using mobile, but how do you actually use mobile to engage citizens and create impact? The Mobile Citizen Summit is a one-day learning laboratory for those interested in applying mobile technologies to empower, fuel and drive citizen engagement in the public good. Our focus is on providing you with informative and practical discussions that will empower you to: Understand the opportunities mobile technology provides Discover successful mobile business cases Gain exposure to innovative tools and applications Explore SMS vs. Smartphone technologies, and Know where mobile is today and where it’s headed tomorrow. This is your opportunity to explore all there is to know about the mobile space by leading a session, asking questions, showcasing your latest innovation, sharing your success stories and meeting other like minded people who want to help you get started and be successful.
We would like to invite you to read Geodata Policy’s first guest blog posting by Robert Gellman. This article is timely given the update of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change, which highlights the sensitivety of “precise geolocation data” (p. 61). Robert Gellman is a privacy and information policy consultant in Washington, DC: http://www.bobgellman.com/.
Is Privacy in Public a Contradiction in Terms?
Robert Gellman, Privacy and Information Policy Consultant
February 21, 2011
Is there such a thing as privacy in a public space? When you walk down the street, anyone can observe you, make notes about your location, appearance, and companions, and even take your picture. If so, then it would seem that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
However, most people would be unhappy if they found themselves followed all day. For most of human existence, this type of surveillance was impractical because of the great expense of following someone around.
This is a good place to pause and say that this is a short essay and not a law journal article. The law of surveillance is complex, and the answers can be different if the person doing the surveillance is a government agent, an employer, or an average person, or if you’re taking pictures or recording conversations.
Is privacy in public a case of the irresistible force meeting the immoveable object? Should your location privacy deserve some protection even when you are in public?
These questions are much harder to answer today because of technology. It’s cheap to track people in public today. There’s no need to pay a private detective. Technology does it. First on the list are cell phones. Your cell phone broadcasts your location constantly to a cell phone tower, and your provider knows where you are. Cameras are everywhere, taking pictures in malls, parking lots, building corridors, on the street, at red lights, and on the highway. Facial recognition software is getting better all the time. Photos placed on the Internet can be scanned to identify individuals as well as the date and GPS coordinates where the photos were taken. Digital signage in stores and elsewhere can record behavior, approximate age, gender, and ethnicity, and can sometimes identify individuals using a variety of devices. I recommend a pioneering report on digital signage by my colleague Pam Dixon. It’s at the World Privacy Forum website.
Even though not all the technological and organizational links are yet in place, it’s not hard to envision the possibility that, in the near future, every action you take outside your home may be observed and recorded by someone. This is more or less what happens today online, where there is a good chance that some website or advertiser (and probably many more than one) records every site you visit, every page and ad you see, and every click you make.