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Wi-Fi Positioning Systems: Beware of Unintended Consequences

Summary  There are times when information architectures, developed by engineers to ensure the smooth functioning of computer networks and connectivity, lead to unforeseen uses that have an impact on identity and privacy. Against a backdrop of the popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices, there continues to be intense scrutiny of the capability of these mobile systems to track our lives, without our knowledge. The mobile ecosystem is extremely complex. It is no wonder that smartphone researchers state that “[t]oday’s smartphone operating systems frequently fail to provide users with adequate control over and visibility into how third-party applications use their private data.”1 Often, these third parties operate outside of the telecommunications regulatory framework.
Author(s)  Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D.
Information & Privacy Commissioner,
Ontario, Canada

Kim Cameron
Identity Architect
Published Date  Jun 14, 2011

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