Location-based Everything: Are we ready for uberveillance?

Presented by Katina Michael

A sign at a shopping mall that describes the location tracking of smartphones is taking place. Most consumers would not have a clue what this is about. The surveillance is described for the purposes of "enhancing" your shopping experience.

A sign at a shopping mall that describes the location tracking of smartphones is taking place. Most consumers would not have a clue what this is about. The surveillance is described for the purposes of "enhancing" your shopping experience.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
McCord Hall (MCRD) 164, Tempe campus [map]
Sign up to attend by Monday, May 15, 2017

Want to watch the live stream? Contact Melissa Waite at melissa.waite@asu.edu for details.

ABSTRACT

Location is fundamental to every interaction that happens on earth. Increasingly, the personal and work-related smart devices we use are packed with sensors that record the who (ID), where (location), when (time), and how (mode of transport/condition) of a user’s digital chronicle. Both commercially led initiatives (e.g. objective and subjective mapping of every inch of the globe) and law enforcement motivations (e.g. digital evidence management systems for criminal convictions) have been responsible for generating big data for user convenience and security purposes. This presentation will demonstrate the metadata generated from simple data logging devices, and use scenarios to point to current and future societal implications. While the benefits of these real-time monitoring and tracking capabilities promise to reduce crime rates and make life easier for all, uberveillance will also lead to misinformation, misinterpretation of data, and information manipulation if the commensurate safeguards are not put in place. Policy challenges in the Australian landscape will be discussed with an emphasis on regulation.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Katina Michael is a Professor in the School of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Wollongong. Until recently, she was the Associate Dean – International for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences. She has a BIT (UTS), MTransCrimPrev (UOW), and a PhD (UOW). She previously worked for Nortel Networks as a senior network and business planner until December 2002. Katina is a senior member of the IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology where she has edited IEEE Technology and Society Magazine for the last 5+ years, and senior edited IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine for the last 2 years. Katina is an active member of the Australian Privacy Foundation.

The multiple gazes of veillance. Multiple camera recordings corroborating an event. Katina is being surveilled by her student Deniz Gokyer, and another camera further away is surveilling both Deniz and Katina while they chat at UOW. Evidence... evidence... and more evidence...

In 2009 my research team and I used Google Latitude to share our real-time location coordinates. In May 2010, this user "byron ji" is a stranger who has requested I share my location. I obviously did not.

In 2009 my research team and I used Google Latitude to share our real-time location coordinates. In May 2010, this user "byron ji" is a stranger who has requested I share my location. I obviously did not.

Evidence from my gmail account that Google would send me an email about once a month to ensure that I knew I was sharing my location with certain people. Later, due to consumer pressure, this warning email came more often- about once a week. It meant that even if a spouse had covertly downloaded Latitude onto the handset, that the user would receive an alert within a week to say "your location is being shared".

Evidence from my gmail account that Google would send me an email about once a month to ensure that I knew I was sharing my location with certain people. Later, due to consumer pressure, this warning email came more often- about once a week. It meant that even if a spouse had covertly downloaded Latitude onto the handset, that the user would receive an alert within a week to say "your location is being shared".

While Google Latitude is now dead, the feature of Latitude has been incorporated into Google Maps and will be available to all those who download the new updates. For a long while, privacy advocates fought to find out WHAT information Google retained of consumer digital location chronicles. The answer is 'too much'. Around 2010, Google proclaimed they only kept the "last recorded" location of any user. The wording of that response to international NGOs led them to believe that Google was tracking a lot more. It is a well-known fact that if you have wi-fi settings ON on your handset, then Google knows quite accurately where you are at any given point in time.

While Google Latitude is now dead, the feature of Latitude has been incorporated into Google Maps and will be available to all those who download the new updates. For a long while, privacy advocates fought to find out WHAT information Google retained of consumer digital location chronicles. The answer is 'too much'. Around 2010, Google proclaimed they only kept the "last recorded" location of any user. The wording of that response to international NGOs led them to believe that Google was tracking a lot more. It is a well-known fact that if you have wi-fi settings ON on your handset, then Google knows quite accurately where you are at any given point in time.

Since 2008, Ushahidi has developed free and open-source software for information collection, visualisation, and interactive mapping. While Ushahidi were providing a platform for crowdsourcing location and other information, private corporations such as Google have harvested data for profit. The two aims are very different. Above we can see a fleet of Google StreetView cars, fitted with 360 degree cameras. Additionally, there are other recording mediums- Google Trekker on humans or on horseback (as shown above), Google Snowmobiles, and even Google Gondolas. Google has called the international community to get on board with their surveillance of every inch of public space on the Earth's surface. We certainly have the benefit of all of this data in our everyday navigation systems as consumers, but what are the implications of this kind of pervasive view of the world at street level? We have Satellite views, and we are now trying to amass even more than StreetView, to Person View systems.

The SuperTrackstick location data logger. We received ethics approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee at UOW to study the consequences of tracking individuals. Our studies showed the pervasive nature of continuous GPS monitoring. While a data logger such as this is somewhat alarming to be 'attached' to the body, our smartphones have on average about 14 different sensors embedded measuring more than just location. If our settings are on for "location enablement" then most likely we are emitting data to third parties even if we don't realise it. What are some of the implications of behavioural biometrics or human activity monitoring is a very good question.

The SuperTrackstick location data logger. We received ethics approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee at UOW to study the consequences of tracking individuals. Our studies showed the pervasive nature of continuous GPS monitoring. While a data logger such as this is somewhat alarming to be 'attached' to the body, our smartphones have on average about 14 different sensors embedded measuring more than just location. If our settings are on for "location enablement" then most likely we are emitting data to third parties even if we don't realise it. What are some of the implications of behavioural biometrics or human activity monitoring is a very good question.