Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Personal 'geo data' as sensitive as private genetic information, experts argue

Date:
April 7, 2011
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
Precise geographical data that pinpoints your whereabouts at any given time should be legally defined as sensitive data on a par with one's genetic information, according to legal experts in Denmark. The EU is investigating what kind of data should be covered by legislation and the team argues that so-called "geo data" must be included in this assessment.

Precise geographical data that pinpoints your whereabouts at any given time should be legally defined as sensitive data on a par with one's genetic information, according to legal experts in Denmark. The EU is investigating what kind of data should be covered by legislation and the team argues that so-called "geo data" must be included in this assessment.

Writing in the International Journal of Private Law, Pernille Wegener Jessen of the Department of Law, at Aarhus University, suggests that developing a consistent definition of sensitive data at the national and international level remains a challenge in terms of protecting the privacy of users of an increasing number of online and electronic services. General geographic data need not be considered but precise, real-time location data are of concern and the issue of ownership and access to such data must be addressed.

Currently, no consensus exists for the definition of "sensitive data" in data protection and privacy law either in the EU or the USA. However, given the status of both regions as major trading partners it is essential in the digital age that such consensus is formed soon while legislation is in a transitional period. Consistent legislation would not only protect consumers and sellers, but also improve confidence across the whole of e-commerce and mobile computing.

Jessen points out that the definition of "sensitive data" in privacy laws will "shape the content of consumer notices and the nature of requests for consent made by behavioural advertisers before collecting, using or sharing customer data for profiling purposes." If there's an "app" for it, consumers like to know what data is being gathered by the provider, after all. Mobile devices are equipped increasingly with location technology, including Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), Third Generation Mobile Communication System (3G), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

Jessen points out in what particular situation geo-tracking might be most sensitive. "The intrusion and loss of integrity related to the processing of geographic location data are apparent when customers are subject to constant monitoring or when geographic location data are combined with other sensitive or demographic data, such as the location of bars, casinos, red-light districts," she says. She adds that "Personal profiles are established for behavioural advertising purposes on this basis." Even anonymised location data might compromise and individual's privacy, so it too must be subsumed in new privacy legislation.

An assessment of the issues leads to the conclusion that too broad a definition of location privacy would stifle e-commerce and mobile applications to the detriment of users and providers. Conversely, to narrow a definition would not provide adequate protection of personal and sensitive data. Either way legislators grappling with new technologies must consider the consequences for all "stakeholders" when defining what is and what is not sensitive in the drafting of new privacy and data protection laws.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pernille Wegener Jessen. Should geographic location data be regarded as sensitive? -- Some thoughts. International Journal of Private Law, 2011; 4 (2): 230 DOI: 10.1504/IJPL.2011.039361

Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Personal 'geo data' as sensitive as private genetic information, experts argue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404084801.htm>.
Inderscience. (2011, April 7). Personal 'geo data' as sensitive as private genetic information, experts argue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404084801.htm
Inderscience. "Personal 'geo data' as sensitive as private genetic information, experts argue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404084801.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins