Discussed a few days ago over Slashdot, Iranian Police Tracking Dissidents Using Tech From Western Companies.
Their summary: "A recent article at Bloomberg discusses Western companies supplying monitoring equipment to Iran. There are few regulations restricting the sale of intelligence monitoring systems to the Iranian government, and large corporations like Ericsson and Nokia have supplied the equipment used to identify dissidents and suppress anti-government protests. '[One such system from Creativity Software] can record a person’s location every 15 seconds — eight times more frequently than a similar system the company sold in Yemen, according to company documents. A tool called "geofences" triggers an alarm when two targets come in close proximity to each other. The system also stores the data and can generate reports of a person's movements. A former Creativity Software manager said the Iran system was far more sophisticated than any other systems the company had sold in the Middle East.'"
Slashdot is discussing a feature I haven't heard before, Making Sensitive Data Location Aware.
Their summary: ""In a breakthrough that could aid spies, keepers of medical records, and parents who want to prevent their kids from 'sexting,' a team of Virginia Tech researchers has created software to remotely put smart phones under lockdown. The phones are given permission to access sensitive data while in a particular room, but when the devices leave the room, the data is completely wiped. A general, for example, could access secret intelligence while visiting a secure government facility without fear that his or her smart phone or tablet computer might later be lost or stolen, the team's lead researcher said. 'This system provides something that has never been available before. It puts physical boundaries around information in cyberspace.'" [Slashdot editor adds:] Unless the phone or other device can also take screenshots, or doesn't have that software installed."
Slashdot discusses a story named Australian Malls To Track Shoppers By Their Phones. That's not the first time we hear about such efforts.
Their summary: "Australian shopping centers will monitor customers' mobile phones to track how often they visit, which stores they like and how long they stay. One unnamed Queensland shopping center is next month due to become the first in the nation to install receivers that detect unique mobile phone radio frequency codes to pinpoint location within two meters."
Here's the recent Google-related geonews.
From the official sources:
From other sources:
Slashdot discusses another GPS tracking privacy story, this one called GPS Tracking of State Worker Raises Privacy Issues.
With this summary: "How far can state government go in keeping tabs on its employees? That's the question a mid-level appeals court will consider in the wake of a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union against the state Labor Department, in the case of a fired state worker who was tracked with a GPS device that investigators secretly attached to his personal car. ... State officials tracked Cunningham's whereabouts by secretly attaching a GPS device to his BMW. The electronic tailing went beyond what would normally be termed Cunningham's work hours, since the device was on for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They even tracked him on a multi-day family vacation."
A story discussed over Slashdot: Court Orders Gov't To Disclose GPS Tracking Data.
Users of this site will remember that "locationgate" affected most modern smartphones OS. A new episode is discussed over Slashdot in a story named Lawsuit Claims Windows Phone 7 Spies On Users.
Their summary: "Microsoft wants to emulate the success of the iPhone, but they probably didn't want to follow in Apple's footsteps this way: a class action lawsuit claims that Windows Phone 7 is collecting location data on users, even when they request that it stop. But a look at the internals shows that Microsoft might not be acting as Big Brother-ish as it appears."
Slashgeo will resume geonews aggregation (and catching up the last three weeks too) pretty soon. Thanks for bearing with us.
Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. Yes, on a Saturday! I'll be away for the next three weeks and dare delay my family's departure to feed you with these.
From the open source front:
From the Esri front:
From the Google front:
On the Microsoft front:
In the miscellaneous category:
In the maps category:
Slashdot started a discussion named Microsoft Exposes Locations of PCs and Phones.
Their summary: "Microsoft has collected the locations of millions of laptops, cell phones, and other Wi-Fi devices around the world and makes them available on the Web without taking the privacy precautions that competitors have, CNET has learned. The vast database available through Live.com publishes the precise geographical location, which can point to a street address and sometimes even a corner of a building, of Android phones, Apple devices, and other Wi-Fi enabled gadgets. Unlike Google and Skyhook Wireless, which have compiled similar lists of these unique Wi-Fi addresses, Microsoft has not taken any measures to curb access to its database."
Quite some time ago already we asked our readers whether you worry or not about your location privacy. Out of 97 votes, the results indicate show that 14% fear it would do them harm and 18% that we can't trust third parties on this issue. At the opposite, 13% just don't think someone else is interested in their location and 2% only are confident their location won't be wrongly used. The large majority is participants, 37%, say that they worry a little bit, but not that much. Surprisingly, 15% of our users indicate they don't use location-aware devices.
Our new poll asks you who will win our soul between Esri ArcGIS Online and Google Earth Builder?