Brendon Lynch, the Chief Privacy Officer of Microsoft, writes:
Technologies and services that track, analyze and share individuals’ movements have proliferated in recent years. With more and more people connecting to the Internet through mobile devices, and with location based services surging in popularity, new concerns are emerging about how individuals’ movements are tracked and analyzed.
In recognition of Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28, Microsoft is releasing new research on consumer awareness of location based services and their privacy implications. We commissioned a survey of 1,500 people in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and Germany to evaluate consumers’ understanding and use of location based services. We found that respondents expressed strong concerns about privacy and how location-based data is compiled and used:
• Eighty-four percent of respondents are concerned about sharing of their location data without their consent; 84 percent are concerned about identity theft or data theft; 83 percent are concerned about loss of privacy.
• Forty-nine percent would be more comfortable with location based services if they could easily and clearly manage who sees their location information.
The key takeaway is that while people see the benefits of location based services, they are concerned about their privacy and are eager for greater transparency and control over how their location information is shared.
Read more on Microsoft on the Issues.