from ElectronicFrontierFoundation Website
Your cell phone company knows everywhere you go, twenty-four hours a day, every day.
How concrete is this fact for you?
The result? 35,831 different facts about his cell phone use over the course of six months.
As the German newspaper website Zeit Online reports:
To show just how extensive this data is, Spitz chose to make it all available to the public.
Zeit Online used it to prepare a remarkable
interactive map, which animates Spitz's
movements, moment by moment, over the course of half a year. It's correlated
with information Spitz willingly posted on the web, and, according to him
and the newspaper, is remarkably, eerily accurate. Try it out.
The Times tried to find out whether U.S. mobile phone carriers have similar data about their subscribers, but it said,
EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has been following this issue for years and has worked extensively to limit government access to location data about individuals.
Government agents have increasingly sought to use this information, using questionable legal arguments to get carriers to turn it over. Still, it's remarkable to see an actual location data set about a real person.
(According to the Times, German carriers have,
for legal reasons, now stopped routinely storing this data. However, like
all mobile phone carriers, they still have the technical ability to
collect it at any time.)
As Spitz and Zeit Online have shown, these troves of information can give a detailed picture of each person's private life.