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Hearing on The Collection and Use of Location Information for Commercial Purposes February 24, 2010

Hearing on The Collection and Use of Location Information for Commercial Purposes February 24, 2010

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Published by Pascal Van Hecke
Testimonial + paper on privacy aspects of Location-based services before committee of US House of representatives
Testimonial + paper on privacy aspects of Location-based services before committee of US House of representatives

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Published by: Pascal Van Hecke on Feb 28, 2010
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02/28/2010

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1
WrittenTestimonyofLorrieFaithCranorAssociateProfessorofComputerScienceandofEngineering&PublicPolicy,CarnegieMellonUniversityUnitedStatesHouseofRepresentatives,EnergyandCommerceCommitteeSubcommitteeonCommunications,TechnologyandtheInternet,andSubcommitteeonCommerce,Trade,andConsumerProtectionHearingonTheCollectionandUseofLocationInformationforCommercialPurposesFebruary24,2010
ChairmenBoucherandRush,RankingMembersStearnsandRadanovich,andmembersofthecommittees,Ithankyoufortheopportunitytotestifyaboutprivacyissuesassociatedwiththeuseoflocationinformationforcommercialpurposes.MynameisLorrieFaithCranor.Iamanassociateprofessorofcomputerscienceandofengineering&publicpolicyatCarnegieMellonUniversity.IamalsothedirectoroftheCyLabUsablePrivacyandSecurityLaboratoryatCarnegieMellon.IamamemberofUSACM,theU.S.PublicPolicyCounciloftheleadingprofessionalsocietyforcomputerscientists.Ihavebeenconductingprivacyresearchforoveradecade.IhavestudiedInternetusers’privacyconcerns,howtheymakedecisionsaboutprivacy,andtheiruseandcomprehensionofprivacypolicies.
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Alongwithmycolleaguesandstudents,Ihavedevelopedtechnologiesandstandardapproachesforcommunicatingaboutprivacyonline,includingasearchenginethatprovidesinformationaboutwebsiteprivacypolicies
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andaprivacy“nutritionlabel.”
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IhavealsobeeninvolvedinaCarnegieMellonUniversityprojecttodevelopalocation-sharingservicethatallows
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http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/#privacy-decision
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http://privacyfinder.org/
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http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/privacyLabel/
 
2userstocontrolwhen,where,andwithwhomtosharetheirlocationinformation.
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Wehaveusedthissystemasaplatformforourprivacyresearch.
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Ihavebeenaskedtotestifyaboutprivacyissuesassociatedwiththeuseoflocationinformationforcommercialpurposes.Iwillfirstprovideabriefoverviewofhowlocation-basedserviceswork.ThenIwilldiscussconsumerperceptionsofrisksandbenefitsoflocation-sharingtechnology.Next,Iwilldiscussprivacycontrolsinlocation-sharingapplications.Finally,Iwilldiscusssomeofthepolicyimplicationsofmyresearchfindingsinthisarea.MuchofmytestimonyhereisbasedonapaperIco-authoredlastsummerwithJaniceTsai,PatrickGageKelley,andNormanSadeh,whichIhaveincludedasanappendixtomywrittentestimony.
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LocatingTechnologies
Location-basedservices(LBS)offerawiderangeoffunctionality,including:providingmapsandlocalinformationtousers,allowinguserstosharetheirlocationswiththeirfriends,allowingpeopletotrackotherpeoplesuchastheiremployeesorchildren,usingplayerlocationinformationinelectronicgames,andprovidinglocation-basedadvertisements.Theseservicesuseavarietyoftechnologiestoacquireauser’slocationbasedonthecurrentlocationoftheuser’scellphone,computer,orotherdevice.Somedevices,suchassmartphones,mayusemorethanonelocatingtechnology.Thefollowingarelocatingtechnologiesincommonusetoday:
 
GlobalPositioningSystem(GPS)
locatesauserthroughadevicethattriangulatesalocationbasedonsignalsitreceivesfromaconstellationofsatellites.GPSisoftenunavailableindoors.
4
http://www.locaccino.org/
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http://www.locaccino.org/science
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J.Tsai,P.Kelley,L.Cranor,andN.Sadeh.Location-SharingTechnologies:PrivacyRisksandControls.TPRC2009,August2009.http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/LBSprivacy/
 
3
 
Wirelesspositioning
locatesauserbylisteningforsignalsofnearbyWiFiaccesspointsandsendinginformationaboutdetectedsignalstoaservicethatmaintainsadatabaseofaccesspointlocations.
 
Cellularidentification
locatesauserbytriangulatingtheirpositionbasedonthecelltowerswithinsignalrangeoftheirmobilephone.Cellularproviderscanobtainlocationinformationofmobilephonesinthismannerevenwhenthephonesarenotbeingusedtoplaceacall.
 
IPlocation
locatesauserbylookinguptheInternetaddressoftheuser’sdeviceinadatabasethatmapsIPaddressestogeographiclocations.Internetaddressescanbesharedbymultiplecomputersandmaychangeovertime.Thistechniquetypicallyprovidesonlycity-levellocationinformation.
ConsumerPerceptionsofRisksandBenefitsofLocation-SharingTechnology
InApril2009weconductedanonlinesurveytounderstandconsumerperceptionsoftherisksandbenefitsassociatedwithlocation-sharingservices.Ournon-randomsurveysampleconsistedof587respondentsrecruitedthroughnoticesonwebsitesthatofferedtheopportunitytowina$75giftcard.Weshowedsurveyparticipantsascreen-shotofanonlinelocation-sharingserviceandaskedthemtolistsomebenefitsandsomerisksofusingthistechnology.Thenwedescribed14scenariosthatfocusedonbenefitsoflocationsharingand10scenariosthatfocusedonrisksoflocationsharing.Foreachscenarioweaskedparticipantstoprovidenumericratingsforthedegreeofharmorbenefittheyassociatedwitheachscenario.Participantsratedfindingpeopleinanemergencyasthescenariowiththemostsignificantbenefit.Otherhighlybeneficialscenariosincludedbeingabletotrackone’schildren,findinginformationbasedonone’slocation,checkingtoseeifpeopleareok,andtrackingrelatives.Participantssawonlylimitedbenefittousinglocation-sharingtechnologiestomeetnewpeople

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