Why is location data important?

Jan 18, 2019 7 Comments

So the news has been talking about mobile carriers selling location data. I get that this is a huge privacy infringement but how are the “bad guys” practically and creatively using this information?

I could see how location data would help in emergency situations but other than that I don’t see what the harmful situations would be? Enlighten me.

Also, when these companies “pledge” that they will no longer be selling this information isn’t what’s sold already sold? I mean they can’t take back the location that they’ve already given right?



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TOP 7 Comments
  • OpenTable Meliodas
    The harm is the loss of privacy, a guaranteed right under the California Constitution.

    If the location wasn’t their’s to sell in the first place, whomever they sold it to is in possession of stolen property.

    They are using it to locate people without probable cause or warrants.

    An anti-<fill in the blank> government can spy on its citizens then persecute them for visiting <fill in the blank> based on this data when they return home.

    Anti-abortion groups can use the data to harass those that visit an abortion provider.

    Employers could use the data to terminate employees visiting mental health services.

    There are all kinds of use cases.
    Jan 18, 2019 1
    • Amazon 8==🤠
      If it is illegal, how long have they been doing this? It seems like they are just stopping now, now that this was made to the news.
      Jan 18, 2019
  • Clearly you’ve never had a stalker...
    Jan 18, 2019 0
  • Comcast / Mgmt

    Comcast Mgmt

    Various media and tech companies
    “Hi candidate, why did the risk profile our background check company ran place you near a drug rehab clinic? Is there something you’d like to share that might affect your long term employment with us?
    Jan 23, 2019 0
  • Intuit notintuit
    A lot of these problems would go away if one simply didn’t carry a phone around. People did it decades ago and somehow seemed to manage.
    Jan 18, 2019 0
  • New / Eng hdgbee7
    Buy Apple, because is not making money from selling your data like google
    Jan 18, 2019 0
  • Eargo aLo0o0
    I hope device id’s are not part of this dataset. Some company out there will be aggregating the data and selling it. I need to do more research how to make my location data less available to marketers. It’s scary, let’s say your employer is a commerce business that collects slews of data in CRM about customers, and they have a device ID (advertiser identifier) and can cross check it against their CRM data to find out if a customer recently visited a store. What’s to stop a data engineer from developing a few API calls and track where employees are. Who’s to stop this from anyone knowing where you were vs where you said you were. Scary. Start protecting yourself right now, go to the ad exchanges and request that your data not be shared among their clients who purchase data. Opt out.

    Here are a couple mobile ad exchanges that collect your data where you can opt out.


    Jan 18, 2019 0


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