Daily DashboardEuropean Data Protection Digest

Predictably Predictable

GEO PRIVACY

February 22, 2010

Northeastern University researchers used the cell phone billing data of 50,000 Europeans to determine people's predictability. National Public Radio reports on the work of Professor Laszio Barabasi, who says the researchers did not have subscribers' names, phone numbers or characteristics, other than the location data their phones sent to towers. The study found that people are extremely predictable. It is one example of an emerging field of social science research that relies on data from major carriers. The results of such projects are expected to aid public policy. A U.S. House subcommittee will hold a joint hearing on the use of location data for commercial purposes on Wednesday.
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