Year-end comments on self-location technology and privacy

As many in recent academic papers have pointed out (e.g. Sarah Ellwood, Jerry Dobson, Michael Goodchild) we seem, for a number of reasons, to be increasingly comfortable disclosing our location by "opting in" to technology that in addition to being very useful, also allows our surveillance. I am not talking Lucy Milligan-style gps necklaces here, but more common fare: gps-enabled cell phones, street view, cctv cameras and the like.  These technologies and our use of them might be changing our notions of our “reasonable expectations of privacy”. It is perhaps no coincidence that in this season for the media to summarize the year's news, there have been many interesting examples focusing on the interface between privacy and geo-location. Consider these:

  • Along those lines is the much posted recent revelation that Sprint has so far filled over 8 million requests from law enforcement for customer GPS data. Posted at Engaget and elsewhere.

Welcome to 2010, another exciting year in mapping technology no doubt.