Location Forum Releases Groundbreaking Data Privacy Guidelines
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Location Forum Releases Groundbreaking Data Privacy Guidelines

Comprehensive recommendations and risk assessment scorecard cover enterprise location applications as well as consumer location-based services

Atlanta, GA; May 23, 2013 -- The Location Forum’s Privacy Council released the public version of their Location Data Privacy: Guidelines, Assessment & Recommendations today.  These groundbreaking Guidelines represent the first industry created set of best practices for improving how location data is gathered, used and managed along with a ‘scorecard’ for quantitatively measuring  a company’s privacy risk level.

Location data is rapidly becoming the newest “information weapon” used by CIOs, CMOs, COOs and digital strategists to gain a competitive advantage.  However, the scale at which location data is being collected, aggregated, and shared without appropriate safeguards to protect personal information creates the potential for abuse or worse.

“Much like financial and healthcare records, location data can reveal an enormous amount of personal and sensitive information about an individual,” explained Natasha Léger, President, The Location Forum.  “These guidelines enable users and companies to understand the value of the information so that they can both take the appropriate measures to safeguard what type of data is disclosed along with how it is used and shared.”

This comprehensive work is based on over 8 months of interviews and contributions from senior executives in the location ecosystem along with front-line data managers – all of whom are dealing with privacy challenges day in and day out.

The problem with location data today is that it changes as it weaves through various hands—applications, vendors, developers, government, companies, data providers, and individual users. Another complication is the diversity of legal protections across countries and states that make developing a consistent privacy policy a moving target. All this is set against a business atmosphere of continuous pressure to develop innovative location-based products and services.

“Location data is becoming ever more commonplace and pervasive,” said Gary Gale, Director of Global Community Programs for Nokia’s HERE Maps.  “A business should be an expert in its own knowledge domain and not necessarily the location data domain. These guidelines help bring insight, clarity and focus to location data issues and bring practical, ready to implement guidance to all sectors of industry who are working with location data.” 

Individuals are becoming more aware of data privacy and expressing frustration over the fact they have no control over what happens to their information once it is provided.  This is causing companies that deliver location-based products and services to feel an increasing amount of angst and concern over their potential risk exposure.

These Guidelines provide a framework for increased transparency around location data management, which in turn, builds trust with customers on how their location data is being used and shared. The risk assessment scorecard causes managers to step back and evaluate their processes, and lays out a roadmap to greater transparency and risk management.

“Companies who embrace these Guidelines will be sending a clear signal to the market that they take location data seriously, see it as a competitive advantage, and respect the individual users right to personal privacy,” said Arthur Berrill, Vice President Technology, DMTI Spatial.

The Location Data Privacy: Guidelines, Assessment & Recommendations are available at  www.thelocationforum.org/privacy

About the Location Forum

The Location Forum is a non-profit, global industry consortium that provides leadership for businesses looking to capitalize on the advantages that location-based services, technologies and applications offer. Our focus on location data privacy, locationomics and location intelligence enables decision makers to better understand how they can apply location strategies across their enterprise.  www.thelocationforum.org 


Jim Warner
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