Pick any app on your phone, and there’s a greater than average chance that it’s tracking your location right now. Sometimes, they don’t even tell you. Your location can be continually collected and uploaded, then monetized by advertisers and other data tracking firms. These companies also sell the data to the government — no warrants needed. And even if you’re app-less, your phone company knows where you are at any given time, and for the longest time sold that data to anyone who wanted it.
Location data is some of the most personal information we have, yet few people think much about it. Our location reveals where we go, when, and often why. It can be used to know our favorite places and our routines and who we talk to. And yet it’s spilling out of our phones every second of every day to private companies, subject to little regulation or oversight, building up precise maps of our lives. However, headlines have sparked anger and pushed lawmakers into taking action, and consumers are increasingly aware of their tracked activity thanks to phone makers, like Apple, alerting users to background location tracking. Foursquare, one of the biggest location data companies, even called on Congress to do more to regulate the sale of location data.Read Complete Article