More on Cell Phone Paranoia

Since we’re doing such a good line is worrying about cell phones this week, here are two more items to tickle the fancy.

First, Michael Zimmer writes about Public Surveillence via Cellphone, pointing to a Wired article on some work at MIT:

Eagle’s Reality Mining project logged 350,000 hours of data over nine months about the location, proximity, activity and communication of volunteers, and was quickly able to guess whether two people were friends or just co-workers. It also found that MBA students actually do spend $45,000 a year to build monster Rolodexes, and that first-year college students — even those who attend MIT — lead chaotic lives.

He and his team were able to create detailed views of life at the Media Lab, by observing how late people stayed at the lab, when they called one another and how much sleep students got.

Given enough data, Eagle’s algorithms were able to predict what people — especially professors and Media Lab employees — would do next and be right up to 85 percent of the time.

Ben Hyde noticed the same Wired story and supplements it with this amazing story:

A few years back the Irish cellphone company discovered that they had neglected to discard ten years of this data. Traces of every cell phone user in Ireland for a decade!

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