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Telcos Begin Monetizing Your Wireless Location Data
Your movement data is the next cash cow
by Karl Bode 01:14PM Friday May 28 2010
Slashdot directs our attention to the fact that wireless carriers are just starting to realize they can monetize all matter of data collected from mobile users -- specifically data that highlights their movement habits. According to MIT Technology Review, researchers and marketers are finding plenty of new uses for call detail records, or CDRs -- which allow them to study a mountain of user behavior data. That data can be used by researchers or city planners to study travel behavior -- but it's likely going to be a gold mine on the marketing behavioral front:
quote:
...cell phone networks are thinking about monetizing their data, says Jean Bolot, a researcher at network operator Sprint. This means a "two-sided" business model where they not only serve end users but also make money through relationships with other businesses. "This is new in the telco space but not in other areas--look at Google, for example," he says. Since almost everyone has a cell phone, the scale of the data is immense compared to other sources. Mobility patterns might, for example, be used to adjust property or billboard advertising prices. "Just about every operator on the planet is probably thinking about this right now," says Bolot.
Of course all of this raises a number of privacy concerns, and while much of this data is aggregate -- it's not particularly difficult for those who buy this data to identify individual user identities (most of us do stay in one place most nights). Keep in mind many ISPs sell user clickstream data (but deny it) with little or no acknowledgment of this fact to the end user, no oversight and no ability to opt out. It seems likely that privacy, consumer education and consumer controls will be an afterthought here as well.

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N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2

Patriot Act?

And everyone got so upset over Bush and the Patriot Act.

Then Obama signed the new Patriot Act.

Now this crap.

Privacy is dead, has been for 20 years. The only place it exists is in your thoughts. For now, at least....
--
Petty people are disproportionally corrupted by petty power

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

Re: Patriot Act?

said by N3OGH:

And everyone got so upset over Bush and the Patriot Act.

Then Obama signed the new Patriot Act.

Now this crap.

Privacy is dead, has been for 20 years. The only place it exists is in your thoughts. For now, at least....
Been dead for at least 50 years when the govt had duplicate switchboards in the telco central offices.
--
Let them eat FIBER!

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Patriot Act?

said by gaforces:

said by N3OGH:

And everyone got so upset over Bush and the Patriot Act.

Then Obama signed the new Patriot Act.

Now this crap.

Privacy is dead, has been for 20 years. The only place it exists is in your thoughts. For now, at least....
Been dead for at least 50 years when the govt had duplicate switchboards in the telco central offices.
And businesses have been looking at phone call records of employees for decades. As a mgr, I got monthly reports of all my direct reports on every call they made from a company landline or cell phone. And every phone call could be listened in to from equipment attached to the company's phone switches.
--
Are you happy with your rep in Washington, DC?

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Re: Patriot Act?

That's a little different, that's a company owned phone on company time.

This is my personal time and personal information, and a service I'm paying for to boot.

I'm not full of righteous indignation or anything, I'm just saying it's a bit different.
--
Petty people are disproportionally corrupted by petty power
JazzJRabbit

join:2003-09-27
Wheaton, IL
said by FFH5:

And every phone call could be listened in to from equipment attached to the company's phone switches.
Sounds illegal even if it's company phones. I can understand looking at aggregate call data on calls made from company provided phones like numbers called, date, time, duration of the call, however actually listening in on the phone call definitely sounds illegal. If it's not, it should be.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink
said by N3OGH:

And everyone got so upset over Bush and the Patriot Act.

Privacy is dead, has been for 20 years. The only place it exists is in your thoughts. For now, at least....
Privacy isn't dead, its just inconvenient.

We will all be seduced into surrendering it, whether for the "social" purpose of joining FaceBook, "sharing" photographs (now ChronoGeoTagged, and scanned for face recognition, thanks Google!), or to "secure" access to Obamacare when we're sick.

Camaro
Question everything
Premium
join:2008-04-05
Westfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
·Comcast

As long

as there is a opt out system because obviously every system they will implement will always be this way,so does this mean that when i get McDonald's i am traced,then when i go home to use the bathroom i will be getting ads for toilet paper on my phone?

grydlok

join:2004-01-06
Richmond, VA

social Networks

They love for you to use the mobile version of their sites so they can track where you are throughout the day. They can target ads based on daily activities.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: social Networks

said by grydlok:

They love for you to use the mobile version of their sites so they can track where you are throughout the day. They can target ads based on daily activities.
And Google is leading the charge here. With the approval of their buyout of AdMob, and their hooks in to Android phones, and their software suite running on almost every smartphone in the US, and their collection of WiFi hotspot locations, and with GPS, they can often know within several yds of where you are. And they will feed ads to AdMob based on your location. Near a McDonalds and a Burger King in the mall, Google can try and send you thru a pop up ad(offering a discount) to the burger joint paying the most money to Google in ads.
--
Are you happy with your rep in Washington, DC?

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: social Networks

said by FFH5:

And Google is leading the charge here.
And here comes a news item this afternoon that talks about Google melding AdMob in to their mobile future:

»news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20100528/tc_nf/73629
"It's clear that mobile advertising is becoming a much larger part of our clients' and partners' strategies and, with this acquisition, it's now a central part of our own business," said Susan Wojcicki, Google's vice president of product management.

At the heart of a Google-AdMob combo will be search. Wojcicki said Google's mobile search volumes have grown more than fivefold in the past two years.

Wojcicki also pointed to Google efforts like "click-to-call" search ads that let advertisers include a local business or national phone number in their ad text that consumers can click to reach the business directly via phone. Finally, Wojcicki promised many more advances to come to facilitate mobile search advertising.

Beyond search, Google is betting on mobile display and text ads on mobile web sites. Wojcicki called AdMob a pioneer in that space, as one of the first companies to serve ads inside mobile applications on the Android and iPhone platforms.
And that is also why Google is pushing on collecting info on WHERE you are at all times.
--
Are you happy with your rep in Washington, DC?

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA
You bet... This has been planned for years.
FactChecker
Premium
join:2008-06-03

1 edit

Who defines what is "doing evil?"

How related do you think something like this is to say using open (including your neighbor) wireless networks to identify IP subnets to your home address, name, phone number and other demographics attached to cookies, emails and web searches, latitude location services, smart phone map locations, etc.

Just saying....
--
"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

Ioweyou

@comcast.net

Monetizing?

This is just the dumbest thing I have EVER heard. Okay let's say 3000 people visit the downtown area of a small city to go shopping. I was one of those 3000 and simply went to the grocery store to buy milk. Advertisers are now going to start 'targeting' me just because my cell phone 'pinged' from there? That is just stupid!

I went to the grocery store not the electronics store or the office supply store or the ladies bra shop or the kiddies shoe store or the hardware store or the pizza place or the nail and hair salon or the dry cleaner or the record store or the home store or the ice-cream shop or Joes Pub or the vet or the drug store or the sandwich shop or the movie theater or the book store or the hobby shop or the chinese noodle house....... I simply went to get a gallon of milk for my kids.

Anyone starting to see how useless this will be? Who are these guys that sit in these Wednesday afternoon managers meeting and think these things up?

Dumb..... really really dumb.

Sr Tech
Premium
join:2003-01-19
New Britain, CT
kudos:1

Re: Monetizing?

The CDR is suppose to be a diagnostic tool to help fix customer issues. It shows which cell site and sector, numbers called, duration, if the call dropped or was initiated hang up. It does not show exactly where you are in the street or store just which site/sector your on. You could run a search on a PTN for a week and see a persons commute.

Many privacy issues, where if the data being parsed has the PTN, if lets say you knew a person that you wanted to rob and had their PTN, you could see their commute to work, know when they would generally arrive back in the home area. Would make it very easy for thief's. Data would not have to be fresh either long as you had enough to see a pattern is all you would need.

WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5
said by Ioweyou :

Advertisers are now going to start 'targeting' me just because my cell phone 'pinged' from there?
Unless advertisers start spamming you with junk to your cell phone, email, and computer browser, I don't see it as a problem...yet.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Where have wee seen this before?

Oh yeah. Right here.

»Not to mention that these Google RFI's


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

May I suggest.

Prepay.

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

1 recommendation

So?

I do not have a cell phone, so it does not affect me. My teenager has one since there are essentially no pay phones any more, but it is off more than it is on. As I try to read the fine print, the paperwork seems to let the phone companies do almost whatever they want to with your cell data, all they have to do is weasel a bit and it is ok.

Can not understand why folks are so enslaved to the phone companies and their overpriced, excessive hidden fees service that they can not just shut it off while in the store or driving down the road.
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.
JazzJRabbit

join:2003-09-27
Wheaton, IL

Re: So?

said by RayW:

I do not have a cell phone, so it does not affect me. My teenager has one since there are essentially no pay phones any more, but it is off more than it is on. As I try to read the fine print, the paperwork seems to let the phone companies do almost whatever they want to with your cell data, all they have to do is weasel a bit and it is ok.

Can not understand why folks are so enslaved to the phone companies and their overpriced, excessive hidden fees service that they can not just shut it off while in the store or driving down the road.
You know, cell phones are convenient if you actually interact with other people.

If you're so concerned about fine print or costs, which is totally understandable, get a prepaid cell phone. It's not going to be as good as contract phone from a major provider in terms of features or coverage, but it's definitely good enough.
Bubba Rock

join:2010-04-21

Re: So?

said by JazzJRabbit:

You know, cell phones are convenient if you actually interact with other people.
Cell phones aren't the single sole way to interact with other people (but going out in the world today you'd think they were!!)

I interact just fine with other people: face to face out in the world, home phone, Internet.

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by JazzJRabbit:

You know, cell phones are convenient if you actually interact with other people.

If you're so concerned about fine print or costs, which is totally understandable, get a prepaid cell phone. It's not going to be as good as contract phone from a major provider in terms of features or coverage, but it's definitely good enough.
Ummm...hate to tell you this, but did you ever hear of something called talking face to face? You know, where you see the person you are interacting with and can do things like go fishing, hiking, to the movies, or just hang out and watch the world in motion without worrying about your battery dieing?

I think your definition of 'interact' is a lot more limited than mine.
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.

Logan 5
Enjoying the Cataclysm
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-25
Austin, TX
kudos:7
said by RayW:

My teenager has one... but it is off more than it is on.

Can not understand why folks are so enslaved to the phone companies.... that they can not just shut it off while in the store or driving down the road.
Maybe you aren't aware but even if the phone is off, you can still be tracked by Law enforcement (at least it's supposedly only them for now anyway....) as long as the battery is in the phone, even if the phone's built in GPS tracker is disabled..

Privacy has been bred out of our countries current quality of life for many reasons from the 'war' on terror to protecting our children and on and on and on....

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

Re: So?

said by Logan 5:

Maybe you aren't aware but even if the phone is off, you can still be tracked by Law enforcement (at least it's supposedly only them for now anyway....) as long as the battery is in the phone, even if the phone's built in GPS tracker is disabled..

Privacy has been bred out of our countries current quality of life for many reasons from the 'war' on terror to protecting our children and on and on and on....
Yup, have known cell phone privacy threats for over 15 years now. But the problem is not because of the reasons you mention, it was so that the cell companies could make more money. The government is just using what the cell companies already were doing as part of their business model.
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.
Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
kudos:1
quote:
My teenager has one since there are essentially no pay phones...
A what????

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

Re: So?


Murdoc
Premium
join:2009-02-08
Manitowoc, WI

Do we get a discount then?

Do we get a discount on our bills then?

yistralisk

@tds.net

Go back to

phones that are just phones, I've got a Jitterbug, for everything else the OpenPandora »www.open-pandora.org/ is finally in the mail.

Old videos from the dev version and raw betas of the ported software and emus, it's been a year, it's all improved by quite a bit.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL4VtAg_xzo


»www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkbFdJG5xuY


N64 and Dreamcast are under development, no Saturn though as it is notoriously hard to emulate it even brings top end quads to their knees due to the voodoo that went into it's chipset.

So what it's 2 devices, all I want is a phone that a phone and a Netbook/MP3 player/game console with real game controls that can handle PS1, Genesis, SNES, and GBA games, web browsing and any app that can run on Linux.

If I need a camera I have a Powershot S5-IS, no need for a garbage cellphone camera.

Augustus III
If Only Rome Could See Us Now....

join:2001-01-25
Gainesville, GA

yawn

phone + dead battery = win

phone thrown on couch while i party in aruba = win

telcos thinking i haven't moved in 2 weeks = priceless.

i win.

if you phone is permanently attached to you you have other issues than data to worry about imo. seek counselling!

FastiBook

join:2003-01-08
Newtown, PA

Sure...

Sure, as long as it allows prices to drop by 1/2 or i get a check in the mail each month, and opting out is as easy as *123# send .....

- A
--
LETS GO METS!

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Monetize = SELL; Targeted Ad = Even more SPAM

Monetize is another vague and useless word like vetted that has no real meaning. It is a fancy way of saying "I collect your data, I sell it to a third party and I get a nice kickback, while you get targeted Spam , ..er, I meant ads

It is this snooping, scraping and the selling of personal information that makes me not very anxious to upgrade my cell phone. I've been a sprint customer Since the good old days when they offered Long Distance. As much as I like my phone I am thinking seriously of getting a throw away.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside