Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cell Phone Data Predicts Movement Patterns

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the where-you-going? dept.

Privacy 93

azoblue writes "In a study published in Science, researchers examined customer location data culled from cellular service providers. By looking at how customers moved around, the authors of the study found that it may be possible to predict human movement patterns and location up to 93 percent of the time."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Traffic lights (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269126)

Hopefully they find a way to program those (!@#) traffic lights a little better with this!

Re:Traffic lights (1)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269298)

NO! that wont be compatible with the TrackMeNot route randomizer ill be installing in my GPS D:

Re:Traffic lights (1, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269370)

I'm a civil engineer [xkcd.com] , you insensitive clod!

Re:Traffic lights (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269388)

I'm a nigger [urbandictionary.com] , you insensitive clod!

Bet they don't have a fucking xkcd for that.

Re:Traffic lights (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270934)

They aren't programmed to get you where you're going quickly. They're programmed to slow you down so you don't run into someone (and no one runs into you.)

Re:Traffic lights (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#31278068)

I thought they were programmed to maintain the best possible traffic flow?

Re:Traffic lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271134)

Nope, they'll just use it to find who's speeding where and when and set speedtraps accordingly.

Sleep and Work? (5, Interesting)

Dayze!Confused (717774) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269148)

Seeing how 66.67% of the time I am either sleeping at home or at work it shouldn't be too hard to fill the other 27% with commute/grocery shopping.

Re:Sleep and Work? (4, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269228)

I'd never trust a statistic I didn't make up myself.

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269762)

95% of people agree with you. 50% of the time.

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

Jeff321 (695543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269252)

I think 93% of the time I'm at home or work.

Re:Sleep and Work? (3, Funny)

kerrbear (163235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269502)

If they track my wife's phone, they'll notice she spends 93% of the time in her desk drawer. Why the heck do I pay for her phone when she never has it on her!?

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270124)

If they track my wife's phone, they'll notice she spends 93% of the time in her desk drawer. Why the heck do I pay for her phone when she never has it on her!?

Switch her to a pay as you go contract?

Re:Sleep and Work? (5, Funny)

miggyb (1537903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270784)

Switch her to a pay as you go contract?

I believe those are called "hookers." Oh wait, you meant the phone.

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31272392)

And just like with phones, pay as you go will save if you rarely use it due to service outages or undesirable features, but the costs skyrocket with daily use.

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281478)

I believe that is called "pay as you cum."

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271384)

In more devastating news, they will find that predictability increases with your "nerd" status. Most likely they will find I'm in front of a computer... at my parent's basement... 90% of the time (sort of like being in a desk drawer, but with the fun of the Internet)

Like I need some research study to remind me of my sedentary life.

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#31272376)

I was that way, except in reverse. I begrudgingly took on a pay as you go cell phone and it did OK for about a year. However it very quickly got to the point where it was a bigger pain in the butt to keep putting minutes on so I wouldn't lose the minutes I had plus the cost itself and I owned the phone itself. I switched to a plan when they put out a $10/month plan. In the end it was a 3 year contract, I got a nice new phone and it ended up about $3/month then pay as you go. Easily worth the $3 for the lack of headaches.

Re:Sleep and Work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31278430)

If they track my wife's phone, they'll notice she spends 93% of the time in her desk drawer. Why the heck do I pay for her phone when she never has it on her!?

So she can call her boyfriends and go out while telling you she wasn't ignoring your calls; she must have forgotten her phone in her desk drawer.

Re:Sleep and Work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269734)

Huh? Where did the other time go?

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269822)

Any tips for the rest of us on how you get away with sleeping at work? I'd love to get 8 more hours a day to spend for myself...

And 66%...you work 7*8?

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31272414)

As a software developer? Yes I do work 7*8, though sometimes I pull a slow week and do 5*10.

Re:Sleep and Work? (0, Troll)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269844)

Seeing how 66.67% of the time I am either sleeping at home or at work it shouldn't be too hard to fill the other 27% with commute/grocery shopping.

I predict you're in a non-mathematical field, perhaps banking.

Non experimental physics (3, Funny)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269998)

Seeing how 66.67% of the time I am either sleeping at home or at work it shouldn't be too hard to fill the other 27% with commute/grocery shopping.

I predict you're in a non-mathematical field, perhaps banking.

I can also predict that he's not an experimental physicist and has no access to instant-teleport technology either. ...and he might also be a little bit slow when he walks between his house, work place, shop and car (or other vehicle he's using when commuting).

Re:Non experimental physics (0)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270894)

Did you miss the fact that 66.67% and 27% don't add up to 100%?

Re:Non experimental physics (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271142)

No, you missed the fact that they do add up to 93%

(full explanation) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271172)

Explaining the joke ruins the joke, but here I go.

Yes, 66.67% and 27% add up to 93.67% and not 100%.

You joked that this is probably due because the parent fails at math and can't come up with the correct number.

I joke that in fact, the total is correct. The missing 6.33% are the time spent walking between the various places mentioned :
He doesn't have access to an instant teleport device, therefore he can't teleport magically himself from the store into the car and his groceries bags into the trunk. He has to walk, and load the bags himself into the car. Albeit he probably walks rather slowly if the walking makes up the whole missing 6.33%.

So there go the missing 6.33% (well, that and time spent in the bathroom).

Re:Non experimental physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271240)

Hey, what's wrong with him not wanting to expose what he does with the remaining 6.33% of his time?

Geez, and some people wonder why there are privacy nutcakes... :D

Re:Sleep and Work? (2, Informative)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269946)

Seeing how 66.67% of the time I am either sleeping at home or at work it shouldn't be too hard to fill the other 27% with commute/grocery shopping.

You're not too far off. I worked at the research wing of a phone company, and I can tell you that "tracking" a person using a cell tower is pretty coarse, even in urban areas. Given that most people go to work on weekdays, I'd say that a lot of your "movement" could be predicted on this level by just predicting your average movement. Add in a weekday/weekend variation, and 93% is hardly surprising.

This isn't even one of those "well duh, in RETROSPECT everything is obvious" studies -- anyone who has ever worked with CDR (mobile phone) data knows that this is pretty obvious even before running the experiments.

And for the people who bring up the MIT Reality Mining experiment, keep in mind that they tracked about 100 *individuals*, all of whom were MIT students with pretty regular routines.

Re:Sleep and Work? (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271702)

This just in, people lead regular boring lives that are easy to predict with little concern for being tracked since most of us are not spies being constantly hunted. More at 11.

JUST 93%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269152)

JUST 93%?

duh... you don't say... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269162)

this is why we don't want them knowing were we are... unless we want them to know were we are by say making an emergency call...

Re:duh... you don't say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282090)

Meh, even if they knew your exact gps location, street and cross street, etc, they would still not be able to help you, because they wouldn't be able to figure out which 911 call center to connect you to, and/or which police department, fire department, and/or ambulance service is responsible for servicing that area...

No technology can fix bureaucracy.

Wow! (4, Funny)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269186)

Imagine that. If you study someone's daily routine you can "predict" where they will go. Call me shocked.

Re:Wow! (0, Offtopic)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269302)

Yup. Dupe news.

Re:Wow! (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269308)

Exactly. By definition, a pattern is 100% predictable by looking at its history. Why is this news? Hell no I'm not going to RTFA.

Re:Wow! (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269378)

Exactly. By definition, a pattern is 100% predictable by looking at its history. Why is this news? Hell no I'm not going to RTFA.

Looking at the fact that most of the posts sofar can be summarized by the statement "Isn't this obvious". I predict that most people (x > 50%) will also not RTFA.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269332)

I once predicted the movements of an ant colony by drawing thousands of random paths on a paper, it was pretty accurate, the same thing could probably be done with human colonies.

Re:Wow! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269376)

My friend, it goes far, FAR beyond daily routine. For instance, from cell phone data, you can tell when a person's plane just landed, because evidently there's a law that says once you land you must immediately call someone on your cell phone and announce that you just landed and then repeat that several times. You know, in case they were picking you up and refused to read the screens indicating when your plane was going to land and wouldn't stand at the gate until you actually walked out.

But I digress. From that cell phone data, you'd be able to predict someone's non-routine movements. Scary huh. And just think about if terrorists got that information.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270778)

> And just think about if terrorists got that information.

Yes, all those terrorists are just waiting for a technology like this so that they can finally find out where crowded places are... no, not really.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31271648)

Yup ... if those terrorist new when every person went for their morning visit to the john just think of the stink bombs they could build...

Re:Wow! (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269866)

Yeah, I thought that was amusing also.

Re:Wow! (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271286)

Imagine that. If you study someone's daily routine you can "predict" where they will go. Call me shocked.

Hey Shocked!
Oh.. research... Spending so much time predicting where people is going, when you can just check on-line [slashdot.org]

What worries me the most is knowing that they DO keep track of the people. I don't care if they are able to predict where I'm going, I may change that. But they studying my patterns seems scary.

Really a surprise? (2, Interesting)

Xgamer4 (970709) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269194)

Is this really a surprise to anyone? I'd wager the day for the vast majority of people goes something like "wake up, work/school, home, sleep", with the removal of work on Saturdays and Sundays and the possible addition of church or something on Sundays. It's not really that hard to predict something that consistent.

This was done last year (5, Informative)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269200)

While not to the exactness of this study, this has been done before in May 2009 ( http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/science/jan-june09/celldata_05-15.html [pbs.org] ). From the article:

analyzed six months of anonymous cell phone records from more than 100,000 people in a European country, obtained from a European cell phone provider. Those cell phone records gave an approximation of each person's location at the time of each call, because cell phone calls are routed through the nearest cell tower. He and his colleagues found that people tend not to stray far -- almost three quarters of the people stayed mainly within about a 20-mile circle for the entire six months, and nearly half the people rarely strayed outside a six-mile circle. They also tended to go back and forth regularly between only a few locations, such as home and work.

And another attempt on the same idea was done by MIT in July 2005 ( http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/25/1751234 [slashdot.org] ). Difference here was that the percentage was 85%. Not the 93% declared now. From the Wired article:

Eagle's Reality Mining project logged 350,000 hours of data over nine months about the location, proximity, activity and communication of volunteers, and was quickly able to guess whether two people were friends or just co-workers.... Given enough data, Eagle's algorithms were able to predict what people -- especially professors and Media Lab employees -- would do next and be right up to 85 percent of the time.... Eagle used Bluetooth-enabled Nokia 6600 smartphones running custom programs that logged cell-tower information to record the phones' locations. Every five minutes, the phones also scanned the immediate vicinity for other participating phones. Using data gleaned from cell-phone towers and calling information, the system is able to predict, for example, whether someone will go out for the evening based on the volume of calls they made to friends.

Re:This was done last year (3, Interesting)

trentblase (717954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269238)

More importantly, people tend to CALL from predictable places. As others have pointed out, most people spend the majority of their time at home and work. But on top of that, these studies only look at where calls are made, not where people actually are. So while I may spend a lot of time out and about on the weekends, I still make the majority of phone calls when I'm at home (not at the movie, shopping, gym, etc..)

Re:This was done last year (4, Informative)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269276)

More importantly, people tend to CALL from predictable places. As others have pointed out, most people spend the majority of their time at home and work. But on top of that, these studies only look at where calls are made, not where people actually are. So while I may spend a lot of time out and about on the weekends, I still make the majority of phone calls when I'm at home (not at the movie, shopping, gym, etc..)

The MIT test didn't work based on calls, it used a program that would run every 5 minutes to locate itself based on cell tower information (a low grade GPS). While the test also used calling information, it wasn't for the purpose of figuring out where someone on average would be. Calling information was used to predict whether someone would going out with friends, ect...

Re:This was done last year (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31272446)

The MIT test didn't work based on calls, it used a program that would run every 5 minutes to locate itself based on cell tower information (a low grade GPS).

I live near the Canada-US border with nothing but water between me and them. My phone regularly picks up cell towers on the far side. So anyone tracking my location via cell tower will find that I magically teleport tens of kilometers and to another country on a regular basis, especially in the middle of the night.

Re:This was done last year (1)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299110)

Just wait till DHS notices all this illegal border crossing...

Re:This was done last year (2, Insightful)

Bootle (816136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269574)

That's nice.

The study picked 50k people who each average 2 or more calls per hour for a six month period and make at least one call for every hour of the week. That's a lot of calls.

If anything, the main criticism should be that people who make that many calls are not a representative population...

Re:This was done last year (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269814)

More importantly, people tend to CALL from predictable places. As others have pointed out, most people spend the majority of their time at home and work. But on top of that, these studies only look at where calls are made, not where people actually are. So while I may spend a lot of time out and about on the weekends, I still make the majority of phone calls when I'm at home (not at the movie, shopping, gym, etc..)

Just you wait till google Buzz gets some momentum. It can track where you're blogging / uploading pictures from, and won't be as statistically insignificant as some flimsy 100k participant study. It is scary. I discarded Buzz after a few hours for the sake of avoiding any chance that others would try and push me to add them to their networks or whatever. We give up enough information as it is, and knowing exactly where to find me, when to find me there and what I use the phone for is a little too much like reality TV. Remember that bug from facebook that gave someone your photo and name and profile link if they had only your registered email address? Bugs are good when they are discovered. Hopefully we won't spring too many information leaks with all those tracking tools that our providers are putting in play these days.

Say no to Facebook and blogging, while you're at it. You can't unpost what someone else has conveniently indexed forever against your best interests of getting 15-minutes-but-hoefully-not-much-longer of fame. Newspapers and the mainstream media don't give poor and unknown people an equal opportunity chance at being located. Tracking isn't even in that equation. Cellphones combined with data networks, on the other hand, are the closest we can come to being Borg, in the creepy 'I'd like to leave the omniscient collective now but can't' way.

Re:This was done last year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269558)

Might want to check if there is a non-zero intersection between the groups of scientists you mention...

Difference here was that the percentage was 85%. Not the 93% declared now.

The 93% is an upper bound on the success of a theoretical prediction algorithm. Makes sense that Eagle, et al, implementing an actual prediction method, achieve 85%. RTFA?

Of course, it makes sense that people are very predictable. The surprising result is that even people who travel hundreds of miles, all the time, are just as predictable as those that barely move around

Re:This was done last year (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269702)

almost three quarters of the people stayed mainly within about a 20-mile circle for the entire six months, and nearly half the people rarely strayed outside a six-mile circle.

Reading that I had this eerie recollection of radio tagging studies on animals, and how they seem to follow patterns similar to this.

Re:This was done last year (1)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31273380)

I would guess the difference in that stat is the difference between European and American Culture. In North America its easy to predict when people will be at work and sleeping, or about 66% of their day. In Europe, in my experience, you can also include three hours every night out at the local pub, or 80%.

Uh huh... (5, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269270)

So you're saying that analyzing movement patterns allows you to predict movement patterns. Would you like to guess the color of my red car?

Re:Uh huh... (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269372)

Would you like to guess the color of my red car?

Is it... iced... tea?

Re:Uh huh... (1)

uolamer (957159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269406)

Would you like to guess the color of my red car?
My algorithm says

94.1% red
2.6% white
1.7% blue
1.2% black
0.4% Nader

Re:Uh huh... (2, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269494)

Well, 85% of the time, it will be red. The rest of the time, it's sort of a rust color as we pull it out of the river because you were talking on the cell phone and missed the "bridge out" sign.

Am I close?

Re:Uh huh... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270232)

the rust could have covered the dirt. I once saw a gray car that on a closer inspection appeared to be a yellow submarine.

Re:Uh huh... (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270572)

the rust could have covered the dirt. I once saw a gray car that on a closer inspection appeared to be a yellow submarine.

Was it this car [buamai.com] ?

Re:Uh huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269510)

So you're saying that analyzing movement patterns allows you to predict movement patterns. Would you like to guess the color of my red car?

Blue?

Re:Uh huh... (-1, Troll)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270196)

Ah, the AGW scientists are applying themselves to the problem I see.

No, my bad. Had it been an AGW scientist, the correct answer would have been "blue, and it's caused by increased CO2 levels affecting the paintwork, we're peer-reviewed scientists, we MUST be right, do not argue with us".

Sorry, am I being too cynical ?

Re:Uh huh... (1)

Mjec (666932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270402)

So you're saying that analyzing movement patterns allows you to predict movement patterns. Would you like to guess the color of my red car?

Blue?

You should slow down [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Uh huh... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31273072)

I think this [galactanet.com] is funnier description.

Re:Uh huh... (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270952)

"If I can guess the real color of your car, can I have my dog back?"

Privacy, anyone? (1)

Bjecas (1753752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269364)

Am I the only one concerned at random researchers keeping track of where I am, where I went and where I'll probably go? I'm not ok with some people *I know* knowing my schedule, let alone random people.

I see no valid reasoning for this study to intrude in privacy like this, since from the get-go it didn't aspire to answer any meaningful question: proving that you're able to ascertain someone's schedule from their phone calls seems like a very sordid thing to prove.

Re:Privacy, anyone? (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269484)

I pretty sure that cellphone companies carry records not just of the calls you make, but also of where you were at the time (closest cellphone tower) when you made the call, as well as where you are while your phone is on (so they know which tower to send a signal to, if someone calls).

I don't see a reason that would force them to erase those records. These researchers are just getting data that is available (in far greater detail) to those working for that company.

My cellphone provider even has a $5 service where they will tell you where your cellphone is online. Who says that the service is not available to them whenever they please.

The only way to avoid this is to not carry a cellphone (while it's on).

Re:Privacy, anyone? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269576)

Carrying a device that shouts(electromechanically) very loud your position, would destroy any notion of you caring for privacy I could guess. On the other hand : would those researchers REALLY care about your activities ?

Like all marketing claims (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269448)

'Never' falls within 'up to 93% of the time' n'est ce-pas?

Published in Science!!????? (1)

viraltus (1102365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269488)

Sounds like a High School science project from a lame student; how are these results relevant or interesting at all?

The science of stalking! (3, Funny)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269538)

BRB...this girl I used to date will be at Subway in five minutes. Time to casually bump into her.

Re:The science of stalking! (1)

Ramley (1168049) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270940)

"BRB...this girl I tried to date will be at Subway in five minutes. Time to casually bump into her."

...there, fixed that for you.

Great idea for an app. (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269564)

It seems like you haven't used the WC for any extended period in two days.
Your local grocery store now has wholebran cereal on sale.
Just mention this ad and we will knock an extra 2 dollars of the already low price.
Coupon code: knst1patd

upper bound (3, Insightful)

dario_moreno (263767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269612)

This seems to be the upper bound of predictability by computers ; in other domains of artificial intelligence, such as automatic translation or speech recognition, automated statistical analysis from corpuses seems to perform better than manual encoding of rules, but ends up at maybe 90% efficiency. The rest is too random to be predicted, and it could be the part of poetry, art or intelligence in our lives.

Re:upper bound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270508)

Funny you mention this...
http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/02/24/2315204/Triumph-of-the-Cyborg-Composer

coverup getting desperat. (2, Funny)

Cr0vv (1223332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269668)

More and more we see stories like this, if you can connect the dots. this is a NASA coverup for Planet X, pure and simple. Fireballs almost every day or at least reported on every week, fallin' out of the sky. it'll be happening more and more, then NASA will fall silent. They do not tell the truth of what's out there, if you don't believe this: your programmed. Crow.

Wow slashdot... (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269802)

This is a really old arstechnica article. Wasn't this article from last week?

Arstechnica is a great site, although they do tend to get carried away with their stories. I really read arstechnica when I'm in a boring class and need to pass time because their articles are so ridiculously long.

How about the other ones ? (1)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270224)

it may be possible to predict human movement patterns and location up to 93 percent of the time.

The remaining 7% are deviant, they're probably onto some terrorist task of some sort and should be Guantanamoed.

it's not 1984 yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270718)

I don't have a cellphone. How predictable are humans without cellphones? I might do something unexpected, I hope I don't get arrested for being unable to be profiled! Oh wait, it's not 1984 yet, that's just the future phobia...
(btw, my captcha was 'escapes')

it's not 1984 yet (1)

CiderJack (961987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270788)

What about the user who carries the phone from home to work and back, and never carries it anywhere else? Can they predict that movement? How about those of us who don't use a cellphone to begin with? I'm a web designer and a landline serves my needs just fine, thankyou. Track me, I wish you luck ;) Sheesh what a useless study,

Re:it's not 1984 yet (1)

Sky-217 (44374) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271896)

How about those of us who don't use a cellphone to begin with? I'm a web designer and a landline serves my needs just fine, thankyou. Track me, I wish you luck ;)

The funny thing is that it probably isn't much harder to figure out your movement patterns, based on your call patterns even from a land line. In a relatively short amount of time, someone could probably figure out your work schedule. And if you don't need a cell phone, you probably spend more than the average amount of time at home and work anyway.

You probably spend close to the 93% of your time at home or at work and you probably take a route to work that is similar to what any mapping program would suggest.

What's missing could be some of the smaller but still regular habits. We wouldn't know if you go to the grocery store on the same day every week or if/where you go to church, etc.

Not really impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270982)

98% of people will go to work in the morning and come home from work in the afternoon. Assuming there are no detours they will take the same route every day. When they aren't working 72% of people will go to the grocery store once per week, and 27% of people will make up statistics to seem important.

Re:Not really impressive (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31274728)

Well, that's really the whole point. The system might be 93% accurate, but how accurate is it in situations where an average person couldn't figure out a location by informed guessing? Is it better than a human with basic common sense, is the question. I suspect not.

Well seeing as how.... (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271810)

"predict human movement patterns and location up to 93 percent of the time."

I am either at work or at home, thank you very much for the study Dr. Obvious.

Great info for my Theft Ring (1)

SirLanse (625210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31271976)

All this Cell phone data should be in the public domain. There should be no privacy. Then my theft ring can predict when all your family are going to be out of the house. Cross reference this with your Twitters and annual vacation travel and we can really clean you out. Or perhaps the police just need to see if you have tags on all your pets. Or a quick look at your TVs to make sure you are paying that California Plasma tax. After they see what they need, then they can get the warrant for a REAL search. Maybe you have a cute daughter, I could show up at her favorite shop. Cross reference with her Rx and know when she is on the peak of her cycle. Look at credit card charges, give her some of her favorite treats. Perhaps know when she rides her bicycle home from school and goes through that dark patch of woods. Its a brave new world and Uncle Sam wants all your info available to anyone with hacker skills.

metaman.tumblr.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31272680)

There is a new science evolving around understanding objectively humans and their behaviour.

As the century of the Self was driven by Freud this century will be driven by quantifying the self and even the culture.
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi the leader of this domain says we should get used with the idea that we are "dreaming robots on autopilot" nothing more.

What's the big deal? Just watch TV... (1)

joedoc (441972) | more than 4 years ago | (#31272958)

I learned this four years ago on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

Those T.A.R.U. guys [wikia.com] are some smart coppers.

Benson and Stabler know where every perv in New York is located.

Re:What's the big deal? Just watch TV... (1)

ThinkOfaNumber (836424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279922)

Benson and Stabler know where every perv in New York is located.

that's easy, every perv is in New York!

(just kidding ;)

Duuuh (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31273278)

I'm at work or at home at least %93 percent of the time.

No kidding (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31273730)

People are creatures of habit thus predictable most of the time.

So where is my cut of the grant money?

Yeah. But not very exact. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#31276468)

You’re lucky when you get it down to 500 m.

Then again, when you’re a A-GPS server provider... ;)

old news... ie very old! (1)

ThinkOfaNumber (836424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279908)

I don't mean old as in "last week", this came up months ago, if not even pre 2009!

Not with cell phones, but some study was claiming to predict human location based on a study of your previous location, to a high degree of accuracy.

Now if I could just find the original link... I'm sure it was on slashdot...

These Slides Are More Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31280380)

Download them while you can and spread the word

http://www.public.asu.edu/~huanliu/sbp08/program.html [asu.edu]

Papers:

        Integrating Multi-Agent Technology with Cognitive Modeling to Develop an Insurgency Information Framework (IIF)
        LeeRoy Bronner and Akeila Richards (Slides)

        Stochastic Opponent Modeling Agents: A Case Study with Hezbollah
        Aaron Mannes, Mary Michael, Amy Pate, Amy Sliva, V.S. Subrahmanian and Jonathan Wilkenfeld (Slides)

        An approach to modeling group behaviors and beliefs in conflict situations
        Norman Geddes and Michele Atkinson (Slides)

        Computational Models of Multi-national Organizations
        Alexander Levis, Smriti K. Kansal, A. Erkin Olmez and Ashraf M. AbuSharekh (Slides)

        Clustering of Trajectory Data obtained from Soccer Game Record -A First Step to Behavioral Modeling
        Shoji Hirano and Shusaku Tsumoto (Slides)

        Inferring Social Network Structure using Mobile Phone Data
        Nathan Eagle, Alex (Sandy) Pentland, and David Lazer (Slides)

        Human Behavioral Modeling Using Fuzzy and Dempster-Shafer Theory
        Ronald Yager (Slides)

        Behavior Profiling for Computer Security Applications
        David Robinson, George Cybenko, and Vincent Berk (Slides)

        Mining for Social Process Signatures in Intelligence Data Streams
        Robert Savell and George Cybenko (Slides)

        An Ant Colony Optimization Approach to Expert Identification in Social Networks
        Muhammad Ahmad and Jaideep Srivastava (Slides)

        Modeling and Supporting Common Ground in Geo-Collaboration
        Gregorio Convertino, Anna Wu, Craig H. Ganoe, Luke (Xiaolong) Zhang, and John M. Carroll (Slides)

        Modeling Malaysian Public Opinion by Mining the Malaysian Blogosphere
        Brian Ulicny (Slides)

        Reading between the Lines: Human-centered Classification of Communication Patterns and Intentions
        Daniela Stokar von Neuforn and Katrin Franke (Slides)

        Automating Frame Analysis
        Antonio Sanfilippo, Lyndsey Franklin, Stephen Tratz, Gary Danielson, Nicholas Mileson, Roderick Riensche and Liam McGrath (Slides)

        Metagame Strategies of Nation-States, with Application to Cross-Strait Relations
        Alex Chavez and Jun Zhang (Slides)

        Using Topic Analysis to Compute Identity Group Attributes
        Lashon Booker and Gary Strong

Posters:

        Conceptualizing Trustworthiness Mechanisms for Countering Insider Threats
        Shuyuan Mary Ho (Slides)

        Particle Swarm Social Model for Group Social Learning in Adaptive Environment
        Xiaohui Cui, Laura Pullum, Jim Treadwell, Robert Patton and Thomas Potok (Slides)

        Social Network Analysis: Tasks and Tools
        Steven Loscalzo and Lei Yu (Slides)

        Behavioral Entropy of a Cellular Phone User
        Ram Dantu, Santi Phithakkitnukoon, and Husain Husna (Slides)

        Community Detection in a Large Real-World Social Network
        Karsten Steinhaeuser and Nitesh Chawla (Slides)

        Where are the slum? New approaches to urban regeneration
        Beniamino Murgante, Giuseppe Las Casas, and Maria Danese (Slides)

        A Composable Discrete-Time Cellular Automaton Formalism
        Gary Mayer and Hessam Sarjoughian (Slides)

        Formal Analytic Modeling of Inter-cultural "Bridge Blogs" as Personal Narrative
        Mike Coombs, Holger Jaenisch, James Handley and Jeff Faucheux (Slides)

        Almost Sure Convergence of Random Gossip Algorithms
        Giorgio Picci and Thomas Taylor (Slides)

        Design of Experiments and Variable Screening in Large Scale Models
        Jorge L. Romeu and John Salerno (Slides)

        Examining the Relationship Between Identity and Conflict in Central Africa: A Multidisciplinary Approach
        Joel Rodriguez and Wendy Chambers (Slides)

This workshop is sponsored by Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?