from the there-and-back-again-must-be-the-shire dept.
DinkyDogg writes "'New research that makes creative use of sensitive location-tracking data from 100,000 cellphones in Europe suggests that most people can be found in one of just a few locations at any time, and that they do not generally go far from home.' More interesting than their conclusion, however, is how they got their data. 'The researchers said they used the potentially controversial data only after any information that could identify individuals had been scrambled. Even so, they wrote, people's wanderings are so subject to routine that by using the patterns of movement that emerged from the research, "we can obtain the likelihood of finding a user in any location." The researchers were able to obtain the data from a European provider of cellphone service that was obligated to collect the information. By agreement with the company, the researchers did not disclose the country where the provider operates.' Any guesses which European country requires cell phone providers to record where their customers make calls, and then allows them to give that data away without disclosing that they have done so?"
Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with
time travel, you never can tell."
-- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"