10 Geoprivacy statements. Where do you stand on the spectrum?

Geoprivacy is the people’s right to decide if, when, what, and to whom they will disclose information about their current, past (and future) spatial digital traces. The term is connected to confidential or otherwise sensitive information of geographical data that can be directly (or indirectly) linked to individuals.

The scientific community has demonstrated significant advances in protective technology and measures over the past years; yet opinions on the ethical use (or misuse) of geographical data vary greatly. A Geoethics session co-organized by Dr. Ourania Kounadi during The Third Spatial Data Science Symposium outlined that there are no Yes/No “binary” answers to critical statements about Geoprivacy. There are variable ethical viewpoints on the “right way” to handle personal geodata in domains and topics such as police investigation, health, UAVs, privacy in public, trust & trustworthiness. The answers spread within a spectrum, often conditioned by subjective beliefs, experiences, and priorities. 


Have a look at the following statements and consider your agreement level (from strongly agree to strongly disagree). Where do you stand on the spectrum?

  •  I would share my fitness location data with my health insurance provider to receive discounts.
  •  Mobile phone data is an effective tool for the police to solve crimes.
  •  Parents should always have access to the location of their children.
  •  My phone’s location cannot be tracked when I have disabled location services.
  •  I trust that the data collected by COVID-19 contact tracing apps will be deleted after the pandemic.
  •  UAVs pose a risk to personal freedom and threaten one’s ‘privacy in public’.
  •  My privacy is a commodity (a good) which I can commercialize according to my will.
  •  Data is the new Oil –GDPR - If data is the new oil, then geography is its refinery.
  •  The police should have access to health/DNA databases (of e.g. hospitals, ...) to solve crimes.
  •  My ads are becoming more and more personal and intrusive and I feel worried about this.


Geoethics Spectrum (Opinion Poll & Flash Talks)

Organized by Assoc. Prof. Dara E. Seidl & Dr. Ourania Kounadi

Speakers: Prof. Michael Leitner, Dr. Junghwan Kim, Dr. Grant McKenzie