Is Privacy Dead? – An Inquiry into GPS-Based Geolocation and Facial Recognition Systems

  • Jens-Martin Loebel
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 386)


This paper discusses, conceptually and empirically, the proliferation of geolocation and face recognition systems embodied in modern smartphones and social media networks, which presents a growing concern for a user’s rights to privacy. This increase in data sharing brings about the very real threat of misuse, as most users are not aware that their geolocation data can easily be assembled into complete profiles of their everyday activities and movements, their habits and social life. Paired with facial recognition capabilities already present in current social media services, this allows for an unprecedented tracking of users, even those “tagged“ through photo uploads by other people. To illustrate this, the author analyzes his own profile, which was created by recording GPS data over a time span of five years. A critical discussion of the results follows.


GPS geolocation social networks tagging privacy facial recognition locational privacy 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens-Martin Loebel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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