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Security and Privacy Issues in Location Based Service (LBS)

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Location Based Service (LBS) is primarily based on user?s location to provide other value added services by means of a wireless device functioning through common cellular network or radio stations.

Security and Privacy Issues in Location Based Service (LBS)

     

Location Based Service (LBS) is primarily based on user’s location to provide other value added services by means of a wireless device functioning through common cellular network or radio stations. Till now it has left a wide-ranging impact on society and business as a whole. Tracking and monitoring individuals, children and thieves and its uses in the law enforcement by police really has good implication on the society. In case of business as a vehicle tracking device or asset tracking component, LBS technology acts as a catalysts in the growth of industries especially telecommunication and transportation. However, as the system deals with confidential personal information like location, personal mobile number, concerning address, it becomes vital for the operator to offer adequate security for maintaining user’s privacy. The following paragraph will focus on various privacy issues associated with LBS.

LBS is one of the most exciting development in the telecom industry and with the innovation of other positioning services having excellent ability to locate the position of the user have both pros and cons. On one hand it has a large implication on both society and economy in terms of a good communication network as a tracking device but on the other hand the information of users can be misused thereby raising the issues of security both for the point of view of personal privacy and national security. As LBS is present and used all around the world with interoperability it becomes necessary to deal with all privacy and security issues. Here in the following paragraph we will focus light on some of most vital issues in using LBS.

Issues:

When is the person permitted to monitor someone by using LBS? Should the concern person’s consent is necessary? What about individual right and personal autonomy? What kinds of evidences are required to monitor a person? These are some of the questions that need to be answered before using LBS as monitoring a person can have psychological effect on the person being monitored. In case of monitoring criminals or suspects by police or security agencies the question of individual freedom came, as enforcing someone’s freedom is not at all ethical when the person is only suspected of committing the crime.

Control (Legal) – Commonly GPS and other LBS devices are used to control and offer various types of services to the user. Personally it controls one’s own direction of moving in guiding the right way. In case of child tracking, parents have exclusive right to look after their children, as it is not possible for the young ones to make their own decision. So it is their legal right to monitor their children thereby reflecting a sense of caring. In case of law enforcement, special laws provide legal rights to police or security departments to keep an eye on criminals or suspects.

Trust (Social) – In social life trust is the most essential part in human relationship. However, the use of LBS is being practiced in low trust conditions. Monitoring someone with the help of tracking system really affects personal relationship but as far as tracking criminals by cops or tracking children by parents are concerned, it is for the welfare of the individual & society.

Privacy (Ethical) – As a human being, everyone has the right to privacy or being free from intrusion or disturbances in one’s personal life. But in case of LBS or any other telecommunication technologies dealing with transformation of various kinds of information, it becomes essential to provide adequate security to these kinds of data for not being misused by any unauthorized person. Tracking and monitoring someone without his/her consent is purely unethical so needs high level of security. But again as in case of law and order where tracking devices are used to monitor criminals becomes essential for the sake of society as a whole. Here, social security is counted higher than Individual safety and security.

Security (Technological) – Again for maintaining privacy, security system should be strong. Every technology has both positive and negative impact on human life and LBS also has shortcomings by locating accurate information data or even easily given access to unauthorized person. On one hand LBS enhances both national and personal security but create another problem for the privacy of individual by not providing a foolproof security system to that highly sensitive information stored in its database. For obtaining security, one needs to do a little compromise on his/her privacy but to what extent is a question.

However, in the whole privacy and security issues of LBS, there are chiefly four points came as control, trust, privacy and security as legal, social, ethical and technological aspects. But all four are mutually exclusive as control decreases trust, trust enhances privacy, which needs security, and security again increases control.

     

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Posted on: February 8, 2008

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