Most people have a general sense that their mobile phone records their every movement. Location based services like Google Latitude can inform friends when you are nearby; another, Foursquare, has turned reporting these updates into a game.
But the full extent to which we’re tracked by our mobiles without us knowing is frightening.
I wrote an earlier post titled “Is your phone spying on you?” which should be read.
A German politician named Malte Spitz recently released six months worth of his location data which had been collected by his phone company, Deutsche Telekom.
He had to sue to get it.
The data reveals that Deutsche Telekom recorded his location more than 35,000 times from August 31st, 2009 to February 28, 2010—or about 78 percent of the time, according to the German newspaper Zeit;
“This profile reveals when Spitz walked down the street, when he took a train, when he was in an airplane. It shows where he was in the cities he visited. It shows when he worked and when he slept, when he could be reached by phone and when was unavailable. It shows when he preferred to talk on his phone and when he preferred to send a text message. It shows which beer gardens he liked to visit in his free time. All in all, it reveals an entire life.”
Check out the interactive map Zeit put together, which lets you track Spitz around for six months. It’s in German, but just hit “play.”