Monday, June 09, 2008

Cell Phone Study

WASHINGTON - Researchers secretly tracked the locations of 100,000 people outside the United States through their cell phone use and concluded that most people rarely stray more than a few miles from home.

The first-of-its-kind study by Northeastern University raises privacy and ethical questions for its monitoring methods, which would be illegal in the United States.

It also yielded somewhat surprising results that reveal how little people move around in their daily lives. Nearly three-quarters of those studied mainly stayed within a 20-mile-wide circle for half a year.

The scientists would not disclose where the study was done, only describing the location as an industrialized nation.


Read the full story here

This story caught my eye for a couple of reasons. One my daughter attends Northeastern. Two the privacy concerns are suspected and that is what concerns me.

There seems to be an implied distrust of these researchers. Can't some folks just naturally do what is right?Dealing with the data in an aggregate format should be fine.

Room for improvement on both sides. One; on the researchers to be more explicit about the steps they took to cut off the conspiracy theorists. Two; on the writers part to just present the data without creating hysteria.