As I attended the ISSA International Conference in Nashville last week I was a little surprised at the number of security professionals that were using location based services. Typically this is a fairly paranoid crowd. All of the smartphone apps, the tweeting and other forms of location based services in use were astonishing.
Now, if you check my Twitter feed, you’ll see a few posts from me as well. It’s expected that a Fellow with the organization should help promote our major conference event of the year. What you won’t see are pictures tagged with GPS coordinates, “check in” posts at a restaurant, my travel itinerary on TripIt or other excessive information about my coming and going while in Nashville. I actually went down a day early and spoke to a group in Birmingham, AL. You won’t find that information posted to any social media sites though.
I sat in on one session at the conference that touched on location based services in our vehicles. I decided right then and there that our next webinar at Integrity would be on the privacy issues with the use of location based services. (You can register here) I think the webinar is well timed because guess what, as soon as I returned to work I had a meeting with a new client that is using automated license plate readers to look up vehicle owner information with the Department of Transportation and match it to a consumer profile. They will then sell the aggregated analytical data to whoever will buy it. Wow…I couldn’t have timed that any better.
Location based services are really cool and allow us to do and see things we never have before. However we’ve been down this path before. Something comes along and everyone thinks it’s great. Only 10, 20, 50 years later we realize we should have done more research into the long term impacts before we as consumers ate everything that was put in front of us.
So take inventory of all the location based services you use and come listen to our webinar on 10/30/2013. Remember that there may also be location based services used to track you that you’re not even aware of. If someone had access to all of those sources of information, what could they do with it?