Smart phones can tell where you’ll be in a day’s time

August 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

  Smart phones can tell where you’ll be in a day’s time

Monday, August 20, 2012

Don’t look now, but we think there’s a spy hiding in your pocket.

In the latest big-brother-world twist, research has claimed mobile phones are not only able to track where you are — but can also predict where you will be. Computer scientists at Birmingham University have drawn the conclusion after studying the actions of 39 people — and finding they could correctly predict where they would be a day in advance. The finding, which poses fresh concerns over privacy in a technology-controlled world, is based on an algorithm developed by the university. The research works by taking information from an individual’s mobile phone and cross-referencing it with similar information on the phones of their friends. The scientists were then able to predict where someone would be in 24 hours by checking the history of their mobile phone tracker and that of close colleagues. Giving an example, they said a person who goes to the gym on Tuesday but whose mobile phone tracker appears to suggest they are heading in the opposite direction that evening is still likely to end up at the gym, judging by where their friends are going. In a 39-person study, the research team was able to correctly predict these movements to within 100 yards and a day in advance. Computer science lecturer Mirco Musolesi said: “The movements of people in the city tend to be synchronised. we see a strong correlation among friends.” while the issue is likely to lead to excitement in the mobile phone, security, and advertisement worlds, at least one group has raised concerns over the data protection questions it poses. Emma Carr, deputy director of the privacy group big Brother Watch, said the breakthrough could cause more problems than it solves. big Brother is not only watching you, it could soon be waiting for you around the corner, too.

a d v e r t i s e m e n t

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, August 20, 2012


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