Data is the pollution problem of the information society

Data is the pollution problem of the information society… all processes produce it, it stays around, it has to be dealt with, and its secondary uses are what concern us.. so, just as, we collectively look back at the beginning of the previous century, and sort of marvel at how the titans of industry in their rush to build the industrial age would ignore pollution, I think we here will be judged by our grandchildren and great grandchildren by how well we dealt with data, with individuals and their relationship to their data in the information society

I stumbled across this fascinating 8 min clip of Bruce Schneier speaking at EWI Cybersecurity Summit 2010, and decided it needs to be shared, on a “sticky” platform, like this blog.

Bruce speaks primarily about data and socialising in this increasingly data-producing Information Age we are in, and with the recent #locationgate uproar over data, privacy, etc, I found it most relevant.


Where I went yesterday, via my Android phone

You know what? I’m glad this whole phones keeping track of everywhere you go thing happened, because, pushing all those pesky, minor concerns about privacy away, it’s really kind of cool!

Hot on the heels of the iPhone tool that showed us the smorgasbord of data that’s being stored, someone decided to see what Google / Android does. It turns out they store location information as well, just, no way near as much as Apple

After a period of time, 12 hours for cellular data and 48 hours for WiFi data, has passed, the location data is renewed by a new request from Google. It is also limited to a maximum number of entries so that the database doesn’t grow too large. 

Swindon says that the location file pulled from his phone contained roughly 13,000 entries related to cellular network tracking. By contrast the Android file is limited to only 50 entries in the cellular location database.

via The Next Web

Maybe it is just a bug, or lazy programming or whatever on Apple’s part, but it makes sense, especially in Google’s case, where they delete / refresh the data, and you can see it being useful for location-based services.

This same someone that decided to see what Google do, created a Python script that you can feed the Wi-Fi and Cell cache files into, and then output into a .gpx format, to eventually visualise on Google Maps, so I just went ahead and tried it out, purely with my Cell cache file.

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