A Geoprivacy Manifesto

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Transactions in GIS, Volume 22, Issue 1, p.3-19 (2017)

URL:

http://grantmckenzie.com/academics/GeoprivacyManifesto2017.pdf

Abstract:

As location-enabled technologies are becoming ubiquitous, our location is being shared with an ever-growing number of external services. Issues revolving around location privacy – or geoprivacy – therefore concern the vast majority of the population, largely without knowing how the underlying technologies work and what can be inferred from an individual’s location, especially if recorded over longer periods of time. Research, on the other hand, has largely treated this topic from isolated standpoints, most prominently from the technological and ethical point of view. This article therefore reflects upon the current state of geoprivacy from a broader perspective. It integrates technological, ethical, legal, and educational aspects and clarifies how they interact and shape how we deal with the corresponding technology, both individually and as a society. It does so in the form of a manifesto, consisting of 21 theses that summarize the main arguments made in the article. These theses argue that location information is different from other kinds of personal information and, in combination, show why geoprivacy (and privacy in general) needs to be protected and should not become a mere illusion. The fictional couple of Jane and Tom is used as a running example to illustrate how common it has become to share our location information, and how it can be used – both for good and for worse.