It's Tracking Your Every Move and You May Not Even Know [telecom]

It's Tracking Your Every Move and You May Not Even Know
By NOAM COHEN
March 26, 2011
A favorite pastime of Internet users is to share their location:
services like Google Latitude can inform friends when you are nearby;
another, Foursquare, has turned reporting these updates into a game.
But as a German Green party politician, Malte Spitz, recently
learned, we are already continually being tracked whether we
volunteer to be or not. Cellphone companies do not typically divulge
how much information they collect, so Mr. Spitz went to court to find
out exactly what his cellphone company, Deutsche Telekom, knew about
his whereabouts.
The results were astounding. In a six-month period - from Aug 31,
2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, Deutsche Telekom had recorded and saved his
longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times. It traced
him from a train on the way to Erlangen at the start through to that
last night, when he was home in Berlin.
Mr. Spitz has provided a rare glimpse - an unprecedented one, privacy
experts say - of what is being collected as we walk around with our
phones. Unlike many online services and Web sites that must send
"cookies" to a user's computer to try to link its traffic to a
specific person, cellphone companies simply have to sit back and hit
"record."
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