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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Surveillance via Cellphone

Wired: When Cell Phones Become Oracles:

Eagle's Reality Mining project logged 350,000 hours of data over nine months about the location, proximity, activity and communication of volunteers, and was quickly able to guess whether two people were friends or just co-workers. [...]

Given enough data, Eagle's algorithms were able to predict what people -- especially professors and Media Lab employees -- would do next and be right up to 85 percent of the time.

Eagle used Bluetooth-enabled Nokia 6600 smartphones running custom programs that logged cell-tower information to record the phones' locations. Every five minutes, the phones also scanned the immediate vicinity for other participating phones. Using data gleaned from cell-phone towers and calling information, the system is able to predict, for example, whether someone will go out for the evening based on the volume of calls they made to friends.

(Via Thinking About Technology: Public Surveillance via Cellphone).


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