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Geographic Aspects of Location Tracking with RFID and GPS . Mark Monmonier Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs / Syracuse University. Foci of this Presentation. Compare and contrast RFID and GPS Legal issues Reliability and liability Lobbying and legislation Privacy issues

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geographic aspects of location tracking with rfid and gps

Geographic Aspects of Location Trackingwith RFID and GPS

Mark Monmonier

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs / Syracuse University

foci of this presentation
Foci of this Presentation
  • Compare and contrast RFID and GPS
  • Legal issues
    • Reliability and liability
    • Lobbying and legislation
  • Privacy issues
    • Informed consent
    • Retention period
    • Control of one’s locational history
    • Unintended consequences
radio frequency identification
Radio Frequency Identification
  • Advantages
    • Inexpensive tags, especially for merchandise
  • Disadvantages
    • Limited range
    • Position tied to location of the antenna/reader
  • Technical issues
    • Increase the range?
    • Support triangulation?
    • Can movement be channeled through a minimal number of gates?
geographic issues for rfid
Geographic Issues for RFID
  • Range (effective distance)
    • Positively correlated with cost (and size)
    • Greater the range, the less dense the network of interrogator stations
  • Tag memory (read/write? store data?)
    • Positively correlated with cost
    • Tags with ample read/write memory could keep track of where they’ve been
    • Locational history is possible with read/write tags and an adequate interrogation network
interrogator network
Interrogator Network
  • Choke pointsin thecirculation network
    • A geographic problem: what’s the network like and where are the choke points?
    • An optimization issue: trade-offs between cost and coverage
  • Network and optimal chokes depend on:
    • Gates (doorways) or movement channels
    • Pause points in subject’s movement
    • Predictable routes based on predictable origins and predictable destinations
    • Plan for less predictable movement?
global positioning system
Global Positioning System
  • Military origin
    • Real-time weapons-system guidance
    • A “you-are-here” for electronic battlefield maps
  • Constellation of 24 satellites
    • Satellites transmit an ID-and-time signal
    • Estimates location and elevation
    • Time signal blurred under “Selective Availability”
    • Location Based Services (LBS) industry
    • European commercial system: Galileo
global positioning system7
Global Positioning System
  • Disadvantages
    • Cost and size of receiver
    • Real-time tracking depends on wireless network
    • Poor indoor reception because of signal attenuation and multipath-corrupted signals in buildings and “urban canyons”
  • Advantages
    • Positional accuracy
    • The slower the movement, the greater the locational accuracy (useful for geodetic surveying)
    • Record or transmit a locational history
gps rfid hybrids
GPS - RFID Hybrids
  • GPS for
    • Outdoor movement
    • Short-term storage of recent locational history
  • RFID for indoor tracking
    • Greater control of subject’s movement indoors
    • Does the location warrant interior detail?
    • Network density (interrogator stations, range, etc.) can be adjusted to need for surveillance
  • RFID as a supplement to GPS tracking
pseudolites
“Pseudolites”
  • Pseudo-satellites
    • Aircraft at a lower altitude
    • Stronger signal
  • Military solution to
    • Jamming
    • Need for greater accuracy and reliability in a war zone
  • Compatible with regional denial of GPS signals—ad hoc “Selective Availability”
links to other systems
Links to Other Systems
  • Video surveillance
    • RFID as a trigger
  • Traffic surveillance systems
    • RFID to increase the panoptic potential of traffic-count and signal-control systems
  • Real-time Web monitoring
  • GIS-based ‘no-go’ areas
legal issues
Legal Issues
  • Reliability of highly complex systems
  • Consequences of failure
    • Litigation
    • Disclaimers
  • Lobbying and legislation to . . .
    • Reduce the failure rate (standards, better data)
    • Externalize costs of system improvement
  • The Wireless E-911 experience:
    • Repeatedly deferred deadlines
privacy issues
Privacy Issues
  • Tracking of vehicles and merchandise
    • Personal privacy?
  • Limits to surveillance of employees?
  • Whose information is it?
    • Retention period
    • Sale of locational histories (anonymized or not)
    • Why reliable anonymization is problematic
  • ‘Opt in’ or ‘opt out’?
    • “Do not track” button?
    • Can the USA PATRIOT Act override it?
unintended consequences
Unintended Consequences
  • What will people do to defeat a personally invasive system?
  • Can prosecution for misuse increase public acceptance?
  • Can geo-tracking lead to new, broader definitions of deviancy?
  • The “Geoslavery” argument?