New Report Analyzes Online Location Privacy

UC Berkeley School of Information


Three I School scholars released a new report today analyzing the privacy implications of new online geolocation standards. The report, "Privacy Issues of the W3C Geolocation API", by master's student Nick Doty, assistant professor Deirdre Mulligan, and adjunct professor Erik Wilde, offers feedback on a proposed new standard for the web's geolocation API. As more and more people access the web from mobile devices, the API provides a standard way to access data about your physical location in real time.


Mulligan offered another example. "Remember when Paris Hilton's cell phone was stolen? It revealed all of her calling patterns and all of her friends. Imagine if it also had Loopt on it: it would have told you where all of her friends were. Whoever had her phone would have been able to follow her friends around."