Privacy versus national security: The impact of privacy law on the use of location technology for national security purposes

  • Bastiaan van Loenen
  • Danielle Groetelaers
  • Jaap Zevenbergen
  • Jitske de Jong
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Location technology allows for the continuous tracking of individuals. Knowledge about the person’s whereabouts also allows for the development of location based services at a very detailed levels. However, there is a potential danger that the further development of the appealing technologies will be blocked by privacy regulations. This paper assesses the legal framework on balancing privacy and national security at the European level. Although the privacy restrictions may limit the use within the consumer market, for purposes of national security they appear to be almost non-existent. The European Court of Human Rights’ judgments confirm that privacy invading technologies can be used to increase national security. A discussion on the need for far-reaching surveillance mandates for national intelligence services concludes this paper.


Location privacy national security location technology Europe 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bastiaan van Loenen
  • Danielle Groetelaers
    • 1
  • Jaap Zevenbergen
    • 1
  • Jitske de Jong
    • 1
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands

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