The Great Indoors
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The Great Indoors

Data Privacy. Choosing an indoor positioning technology

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Series Background

The wrong questions to ask about data privacy

The right questions to ask about privacy

  1. What data is required for the indoor positioning solution to work?
    There are a variety of solutions using different signals to position individuals and objects indoors. As mentioned above, sound and vision systems might seem more sensitive, but in practice are not. To really get to the truth, it is important to ask the next question.
  2. How sensitive is the data that is being recorded and can the sensitivity be removed?
    You should understand whether sensitive data is required to position an individual (e.g., sound vs ultrasound) and if the solution reduces data privacy risks (e.g., anonymizing during collection process or discarding of data prior to processing).
  3. How much data must leave the phone?
    Is the data being processed on the user’s phone or in the cloud? Understanding the data processing location will help you to assess any other risks. However, generally speaking if no data is leaving the user’s phone the solution itself poses no privacy risk. Risks might be introduced by other apps or the phone itself.
  4. Who is the owner of the data and who is the host of the cloud?
    For the use cases where the data must leave the users phone, it is important to understand who will own the data. That party will also be responsible for its security. If the data is hosted in the cloud, you should inquire who is the host of the cloud to further understand risk factors.
  5. What is the value to the customer, and does it justify the data requirements in his/her mind?
    As described earlier, the degree to which a customer is willing to give up data privacy, depends on the value that the indoor positioning solution can provide him with. Therefore, it is important that you test your intended use case on customers either through random interviews or through a systematic user research process.

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Forkbeard Technologies

Forkbeard is building the world’s leading indoor positioning platform by combining Bluetooth Low Energy and ultrasound technologies.