Thursday, June 17, 2010

Web and mobile personal location tracking presents home and identity security issues

Paul F. Roberts has a piece in Infoworld “Location services: The security risks of oversharing: The vulnerability of Web applications and the sensitive nature of personal location information will prove a disasterous combination”. Webroot guided its followers to a tweet on this story today (link).

For example, you register for a conference, the website for the conference sends your registration notice to Facebook and your friends find out. For professional reasons, that’s good; for home security for some people or families in some situations, it isn’t. Same, Twitter offers location tracking (voluntary), but that tells people you are out of town. If you’re an entertainer trying to attract gigs, you want to be found. But you don’t want to be found by a stalker. The same goes for cell phone and blackberry devices, and even iPad.

The other risk is hacking of mobile devices and laptops (or their theft) while you’re out and about, with the usual dangers to identity security and even maybe bank accoutns.

Still another conceivable risk is to one’s own confidential information on the job. In some jobs, one’s actual location might imply a breach of confidentiality.

Lest this sound paranoid, remember there are hundreds of millions of users of these services; it’s a few bad incidents that get the media attention. But there’s nothing like having good home security, and being able to keep up with everything when you “play on the road.” Every professional plays “visiting team” and bats first a lot of the time.

1 comment:

Viola said...

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