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8 Places Where Smartphones Tracked People’s Movements

The AchieVer

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The business of location data has grown dramatically in recent years, a New York Times investigation found. Apps on smartphones send precise location data sometimes thousands of times a day. Companies prize the information, which can help advertisers target consumers and investments funds understand trends.

Though the raw data is anonymous, it can often be linked to people’s identities by comparing movements to publicly available information like home addresses.


The Times reviewed a database of more than a million phones in the New York area, a sample of information held by one company. Here are eight locations found in the data that show how detailed this tracking can be.


Devices are visible traveling to, from and around Rikers Island — New York City’s main jail. Many of the devices, probably belonging to staff, can be traced to homes.


It’s also possible to single out devices that pass through Trump Tower, the president’s residence in Manhattan

Cyclists, joggers and vehicles can be pinpointed on the trails and roads of Central Park in Manhattan.


Many firing ranges and gun clubs also appear in the data, such as this one in New Jersey. This information can be used to identify people who have an interest in firearms or are likely gun owners.


Military bases such as the United States Military Academy at West Point are also included in the data.


Location data from transit hubs, such as devices here passing through one of the city’s two main train stations, has been used to study traffic patterns.


Ferry rides to and from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island appear as streaks through the water.

Location data shows the paths of taxiing aircraft and passengers in terminals.

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10 hours ago, The AchieVer said:

The business of location data has grown dramatically in recent years


So has the business for privacy.  If you are tracked it is because you want to be since there are solutions to stop tracking.  About three years ago we were provided with faraday bags for laptops, tablets, smart watches, and smart phones.  That stops the devices from being tracked except when they are removed and used, which is seldom since we use encrypted two way radios for communication.  You don't have to keep your phone in the envelope all the time, just when you want to go somewhere and not be tracked.



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