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Professor Cranor Addresses Congressional Subcommittees About Privacy Issues and Location-Based Services

February 24, 2010

Carnegie Mellon University's Lorrie F. Cranor will discuss the risk and benefits of online services that collect and use location information to joint meetings of the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection and the Subcommittee on Communication and Technology at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24 in room 2141 of the Rayburn Office building in Washington, D.C.

Increasingly popular location-based services allow Internet users to share their location with friends, track employees or children, or receive information based on current geographic location. GPS and other technology built into cell phones and laptop computers allows people to be located automatically, often to within a few hundred feet. However, there is growing concern about the invasive nature of this technology, according to Cranor, an associate professor of computer science and engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon.

"Due to the way cellular technology works, for example, the widespread use of cell phones enables round-the-clock surveillance of citizens. It is important that the storage of individual location data be minimized and protections be put in place to limit when it can be disclosed to the government," said Cranor, who has conducted several studies about privacy issues and location-sharing technologies. Continue to the Carnegie Mellon press release.

Pictured above: Professor Lorrie Cranor (lower left) with researchers from the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS).

 

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