It should be obvious by now that geodata can be a valuable set of intellectual property to many businesses. Geodata can tell a business a great deal about a person’s habits, which can allow businesses to predict potential customers' actions and be used to target them in unique defined ways tailored to the individual. This increasing ability to conflate data from multiple sources combined with an individual's location means that not only can individuals be tracked with respect to their movements, but also with respect to their other activities (i.e., buying habits and typical routes to work). Even if a collection agency has no direct use for the geodata collected, advertisers are more than willing to purchase the data for their own specific needs – making geodata valuable to its owner, even if the owner has no direct use for the data.
It should go without saying that most of us don’t want just any advertiser or business to know every movement in order to be able to target them at any time (i.e., recall how annoying telemarketers at dinner time are, and you can now imagine being targeted the same way using data at any time based on data provided unknowingly from your IPhone, etc.). Most of us expect – when we know our geodata is collected -- that it be used for a specific purpose and maintained for a limited time. If the toll booth is collecting such data, then most of us likely expect that the data is being collected for the limited purpose of monitoring toll payments. If a bank keeps records of our credit card use, then we may be likely to expect that the geodata is being used to prevent fraud. If a personal GPS device’s information is being collected, we might believe or be likely to expect that the information will be used only for providing directions and avoiding traffic problems.
Reminder - Complete all of the Lesson 3 tasks!
You have reached the end of Lesson 3! Go back to the to-do list on the Lesson 3 Overview page to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before you begin Lesson 4.