26C3 - 26C3 1.15

26th Chaos Communication Congress
Here be dragons

L. Aaron Kaplan
Day Day 3 - 2009-12-29
Room Saal3
Start time 20:30
Duration 01:00
ID 3600
Event type Lecture
Track Society
Language used for presentation English

Location tracking does scale up

How skyhook wireless tracks you continously

For a long time we warned of the perils of full scale, permanent tracking of persons by the state or corporations. Cell phones, data retention laws and other surveillance techniques close the freedoms of the net. But none can be as pervasive as the permanent location updates sent to Apple and Google via your Smartphone and laptop. With a precision of 10 m to 20 m, BSSID based location tracking has become the ultimative and global tracking of persons. This talk will describe weaknesses and trends in current location tracking methods. The internet learned to locate you in 2009!

Skyhook Wireless is a small company focusing on providing high quality location based services to the world.

To quote from their webpage: "Skyhook Wireless' XPS is the world's first true hybrid positioning system. Combining the unique benefits of GPS, Cell Tower triangulation and Wi-Fi Positioning, mobile consumers no longer have to wait minutes for a response or cope with inaccurate location."

Customers include Apple (iPhone, Snow Leopard uses Skyhook Wireless) and Google. While most people don't realize it, the BSSIDs that their Smartphone "hears" gets transmitted to a single company in Boston, Mass. The cell phone tower identifier gets transmitted and if anything fails, they will revert to simple IP Geolocation DBs.

The talk will focus on a few techniques for assigning GPS positions to you and tries to estimate trends and implications for society, law and law enforcement issues.

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