Re: Geofencing and privacy

Those are some great points.

I think that it would be useful for the standard to focus on notice and

Specifically, it would be great if rather than being presented with
latitude and longitude coordinates, any consent dialog was required to
display a map showing the area being fenced.

Another way to enhance notice would be to set up "levels" of Geofences.

For example:

   - Level 1: Down to the meter sensitivity (rooms in a house)
   - Level 2: Building level sensitivity (user is at home)
   - Level 3: Neighborhood level sensitivity (user is in the Mission)
   - Level 4: City level (user is inSan Francisco)
   - Level 5: Metro level: (User is San Francisco Bay Area - SF, Oakland,
   South Bay, etc)
   - Level 6: State level: User is in California
   - Level 7: User is in the United States of America

(Also, I know this is a pretty North America centric model since in Europe
et al what would be a state would be another country, so I'm totally open
to suggestions on how to tweak the language)

Levels with higher privacy implications could show more dire warnings
and/or require more explicit, opt in consent.

IMHO users need to have continuous feedback about geofences - whenever
entering/exiting there should be some sort of feedback about who is
monitoring them, the granularity of the geofence, and an opportunity to
revoke consent.

On Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 4:45 AM, <> wrote:

> 24.06.2015, 07:37, "Christine Runnegar" <>:
> > Hi all.
> >
> > The First Public Working Draft of Geofencing API has been published by
> the Geolocation WG:
> >
> >
> >
> > You will see that there is still work to be done on the privacy and
> security considerations section.
> I raised an issue [1] on the precision of circles - what happens if a
> user's geolocation is expressed as [51,0] - a rough location for "London"
> and a geofence is set up around 50.234567,-.31415927 - say, some GCHQ
> coffee point…?
> A lot of what happens with geoinformation depends on understanding the
> resolution - are you allowing the system to discover that you are in a
> given city, on a given street, or whether you are sitting or standing at
> the tram stop? (Actually the current spec is pretty daft and can't tell if
> you're in a given street, only if you're within a certain ellipse defined
> by wgs84)?
> What if someone sets up a private geofence for you, say "around your
> house". Browsers should probably provide a way to independently verify the
> area that is begin described... but will people use it? Not that many
> people can actually read a map - hence the popularity of turn-by-turn
> navigation.
> cheers
> Chaals
> --
> Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
> - - - Find more at


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Received on Thursday, 25 June 2015 15:13:59 UTC