Geolocation data tracking, all the risks connected to it

Oluwatoni Olujinmi

In today’s digital age, geolocation tracking has become ubiquitous. Our smartphones, watches, and cars are equipped with GPS technology that allows us to navigate, locate, and communicate with ease. 

Despite the convenience that comes with using location-tracking devices, there is a rising apprehension regarding the associated risks. The use of such devices makes us vulnerable to potential hazards such as cyberbullying, identity theft, and stalking. If our geolocation data falls into the wrong hands, it can be utilized to monitor our activities, track our movements, and even steal our identities.

The issue of geolocation tracking risk is becoming increasingly pressing as technology continues to advance at an unprecedented rate. We must acknowledge the potential dangers and implement measures to safeguard ourselves.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of geolocation tracking, exploring the vulnerabilities associated with it. Thus, fasten your seatbelts and follow us as we embark on this crucial voyage to comprehend the dangers of geolocation tracking.

Application of geolocation data tracking 

The application of geolocation data tracking is transforming how individuals and enterprises engage with the world around them. From providing personalized marketing to improving public safety, the applications of geolocation data are vast and varied.

Businesses can use geolocation data to target advertising and promotions to specific regions or demographics, leading to more efficient marketing campaigns and increased sales. This data is also useful for tracking the movement of goods and services, improving logistics and supply chain management.

On an individual level, geolocation data can enhance safety by allowing emergency responders to quickly locate and assist those in need. Furthermore, it can oversee and avert illicit undertakings. 

In general, geolocation data tracking possesses the potential to enhance efficacy, security, and convenience across multiple sectors, thus making it an indispensable instrument in the present-day technological scenario.

Privacy issues related to geolocation tracking 

Despite the vast benefits of geolocation tracking, it can pose several privacy issues. Here are some of the most significant ones:

Location data can reveal sensitive information

Geolocation data can reveal sensitive information about individuals, such as their home address, workplace, and daily routine. This information can be used to track and monitor individuals, potentially leading to stalking, harassment, or other forms of abuse. 

This level of tracking can be particularly concerning for individuals who may be vulnerable to stalking or harassment, such as victims of domestic violence. The availability of such sensitive information can also make it easier for individuals to become targets of identity theft or other forms of financial fraud. Furthermore, the misuse of geolocation data can also lead to physical harm or danger, as it can be used to locate and harm an individual.

Read also: Digital Transformation: from cybersecurity to AI, the trends for 2023

Data breaches

Geolocation tracking involves the collection and storage of large amounts of data, which can be vulnerable to data breaches. In the event of this information being compromised, it can be utilized for malicious intents, such as committing fraud or stealing identities. Unlawful access to a company’s geolocation data database by hackers can result in a data breach. Thus enabling them to identify and trail individuals, which can culminate in financial fraud, identity theft, or even physical jeopardy.

Lack of consent

Individuals may not always be aware that their location is being tracked. Or they may not have given explicit consent for it to happen. This can be an infringement on their right to privacy.

In some cases, companies or apps may collect geolocation data without notifying users or obtaining their consent. This can occur through the use of hidden tracking software or by burying disclosures about geolocation tracking deep in the fine print of user agreements. Where most people may not read them.

Stalking

Geolocation tracking can lead to privacy concerns, such as stalking, where individuals may inadvertently share their current location with their social media followers, including potential stalkers. Malicious actors may exploit this information to locate and harm individuals in real life. 

Social media platforms and other mobile applications often rely on geolocation tracking to provide location-based services and targeted advertising. However, if the user is not aware of the potential risks associated with sharing their location data, they may inadvertently provide this information to individuals. Who may use it for nefarious purposes, including stalking.

Third-party sharing

Location data collected by one company or app may be shared with other companies. Thus potentially leading to a loss of control over how that data is used and who has access to it. When companies engage in third-party sharing, they may inadvertently expose users’ geolocation data to external parties without their knowledge or consent. This can pose a predicament since geolocation data can uncover personal and confidential details about a user. Such as their residential address, workplace, or frequently visited spots.

Geolocation tracking poses threat on our privacy and security

In the age of ubiquitous technology, geolocation tracking has become everywhere. Despite its numerous advantages, it also presents a substantial threat to our privacy and security.

From targeted advertising to potential stalking and identity theft, we must be cautious about the information we share and who we share it with. We must take charge of our data and shield ourselves from the hazards associated with geolocation tracking.

Read also: Decentralized Applications (dApps): what are they and what are their key features

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