Making Sensitive Data Location Aware

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."

Australian Malls To Track Shoppers By Their Phones

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."

Google Geonews: Google Earth 6.1 Released, Sharing Google Maps on Google+, Speeding Up Google Earth, Sweden "Secrets", and much more

Here's the recent Google-related geonews.

From the official sources:

From other sources:

GPS Tracking of U.S. State Worker Raises Privacy Issues

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."

Court Orders U.S. Gov't To Disclose GPS Tracking Data

A story discussed over Slashdot: Court Orders Gov't To Disclose GPS Tracking Data.

Their summary: "United States law enforcement officials have been utilizing data provided by global positioning satellite systems to track down individual suspects, without having to demonstrate probable cause before a judge first — that much is known. Rights groups such as the ACLU have wondered, just how much of that goes on? The rights group's investigation of this practice has inadvertently triggered a renewal of the debate over privacy policy versus public disclosure, and whether it's possible for an agency or other entity to reveal data that could lead to further revelation of personally identifiable data (PID), without officially violating privacy. The final outcome could set a new precedent for privacy policy, not just by the government but for enterprises as well."

Lawsuit Charges Microsoft with Location Spying with Windows Phone 7

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.

Saturday Geonews: TileMill 0.4.1, Esri FileGeodatabase API 1.1, GIS with Google Earth, Layar Vision App, and much more

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:

Microsoft Exposes Locations of PCs and Phones

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 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."

Poll Results on Location Privacy and New Poll on Esri ArcGIS Online vs Google Earth Builder

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?

New Jersey Judge Rules GPS Tracking of Spouse Legal

This story is being discussed over Slashdot: NJ Judge Rules GPS Tracking of Spouse Legal.

Their summary: "The use of a GPS device to track your whereabouts is not an invasion of privacy in New Jersey, a state appellate court panel ruled today. Based on the battle of a divorcing Gloucester County couple, the decision helps clarify the rules governing a technology increasingly employed by suspicious spouses — many of whom hire private investigators. No state law governs the use of GPS tracking devices, and the ruling, which does not affect police officers, is the first to address the issue, said Jimmie Mesis, past president of the New Jersey Licensed Private Investigators Association. 'We only use it when we are sure we have the appropriate conditions,' [private investigator Lisa Reed] said, noting that investigators make sure GPS devices are installed in cars on public streets and not private areas, and that the spouse must have some legal or financial connection to the car."

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