He went through a process to find out exactly what his provider, Deutsche Telekom, knew about his whereabouts over a period of time that he had his phone constantly. Between August 31, 2009 and February 28th, 2010, the operator had saved his longitude and latitude coordinates over 35,000 times.
Privacy experts claim that Spitz actions provide a rare glimpse into how phone companies can track and keep data on us without us ever consenting or having a clue it is happening at all.
Technically, an operator's network needs to know your location all the time. The nearest network equipment to your location is sought every few seconds for optimal call routing purposes, and an operator also needs to track location in cases for billing purposes.
Spitz information however was not gathered and saved from these normal updates, however. "We are all walking around with little tags, and our tag has a phone number associated with it, who we called and what we do with the phone," said Sarah E. Williams, an expert on graphic information at Columbia University's architecture school.
"We don't even know we are giving up that data." Kevin Bankston, an EFF lawyer, points out that telecommunications companies in the United States do not have to report precisely what material they collect. Based on court cases, he said they appear to be storing more and more of it, and it is becoming more precise.
"Phones have become a necessary part of modern life," he said. "You have to hand over your personal privacy to be part of the 21st century."
Written by: James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 3:25