Who Are the People in Your Neighbourhood?

Apropos of recent events, how well can you identify individuals from shallow, off-the-shelf and nominally anonymised mobile cellphone metadata without cross-correlation to other large databases?

We study fifteen months of human mobility data for one and a half million individuals and find that human mobility traces are highly unique … Knowing as few as four spatio-temporal points taken at random is enough to uniquely characterize 95% of the traces amongst 1.5 M users … At most eleven points are enough to uniquely characterize all considered traces.

This is why I use the wonderfully comprehensive Chinese security and permissions manager LBE on an open-source version of Android to block all mobile apps from routinely accessing my geolocation and IMEI (and also block contact pilfering and call log scanning). You can also use Gemini App Manager to disable all the event-triggered background autoruns.

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