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Study warns on mobile location data privacy

Publisher: 
BBC News
Publication date: 
25-Mar-2013
Author(s): 
Jason Palmer
Original story link: 

Scientists say it is remarkably easy to identify a mobile phone user from just a few pieces of location information.

Whenever a phone is switched on, its connection to the network means its position and movement can be plotted.

This data is given anonymously to third parties, both to drive services for the user and to target advertisements.

But a study in Scientific Reports warns that human mobility patterns are so predictable it is possible to identify a user from only four data points.