Sovereign and Intuitive Management of Personal Location Information
Raising awareness for privacy in location information
The majority of cell phone users are unaware of how their cell phone’s GPS location history can lead to deep conclusions about their activities, place of residence, inclinations, beliefs or social networks. The SIMPORT project aims to raise awareness as well as design and implement measures to better protect the privacy of location information.
The consortium members work to develop guidelines and software modules to confidentially handle personal location information on a mobile device. They cooperate with partners from the industry to create open source software components to enable digital sovereignty with regard to personal location information. Users of these components can clearly visualize possible conclusions about their personal location information and better assess the advantages and disadvantages of passing on this information. Consequently, users know of the risks precisely when they have to decide whether or not they want to share their personal data.
In close cooperation with computer science and the social sciences, the researchers analyze how to improve awareness of risks and opportunities and to develop fine-grained control options for the transfer of personal location information. This strengthens the competence and sovereignty of smartphone users when deciding about their personal data.
52°North has long-term experience with location-based services from the developments of the enviroCar ecosystem. Our team evaluates possible prototypes of SIMPORT components in the enviroCar system. In addition, we contribute expertise in collaborative software development processes.
During 2022, the partners focused on the interaction forms and patterns to improve the user experience with location privacy. The outcome of this research was prototyped into the enviroCar cross-platform app in the context of a Google Summer of Code project mentored by 52°North. In addition, a concept and a first prototype for a privacy toolkit has been realized. Designed as a replacement for location services within smartphone SDKs, it provides access to the device location but gives the full control on accuracy and resolution to the user.