Location Data, Personal Data Protection and Privacy in Mobile Device Usage : An EU Law Perspective

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Title: Location Data, Personal Data Protection and Privacy in Mobile Device Usage : An EU Law Perspective
Author: Bu-Pasha, Shakila
Contributor organization: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Doctoral Programme in Law
Helsingin yliopisto, oikeustieteellinen tiedekunta
Oikeustieteen tohtoriohjelma
Helsingfors universitet, juridiska fakulteten
Doktorandprogrammet i juridik
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018-12-14
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-4661-8
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (article-based)
Abstract: Using location-based services (LBSs) via location-aware applications (apps) and websites on devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops has become inevitable for most device users. Smartphones and smart devices are equipped with sophisticated positioning sensors that can determine the location and physical movements of their users. A variety of risks and threats have been associated with the location data privacy of individuals in this digital era. This dissertation addresses a common and significant legal problem: the relationship between collection of location data in mobile device usage and the European Union (EU) law on the protection of personal location data and privacy. Along with the traditional human rights law, the EU information and communications technology (ICT) as well as data protection law play a significant role in the privacy and personal data protection of mobile device users. Article 4(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) expressly includes location data as an “identifier” of personal data. This dissertation pictures the vulnerabilities of location and location data (which may potentially be sensitive data) in mobile devices and while using the Internet and particular apps on those devices. The theoretical framework for the dissertation includes the EU as a single society in the digital environment, as well as location privacy and cross-border issues under EU data protection law. The need for obtaining user consent and maintaining transparency and accountability on behalf of online platforms and other responsible bodies as data controllers and processors are also described. The main aspect related to localisation in mobile devices concerns data protection addressing protection of privacy online and personal data which includes location data. This aspect emphasises the efficiency of EU data protection legal system, more specifically with the introduction of the GDPR, which can effectively bind data controllers such as multinational technology companies, online platforms and other entities for safeguarding data subjects’ right to privacy and personal data protection and for the promotion of smooth and safe public participation on the Internet via mobile devices. At the same time, the dissertation covers international and EU Law aspects of the mitigation of harmful radio interference in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and radio communication system for the accuracy in location estimation and location services. On the ground of protection of privacy, the EU law does not permit using illegal devices like jamming and spoofing devices which hamper GNSS technology and services. By researching a comparatively new branch of law and a new topic, the dissertation contributes to the efficient protection of location data and privacy.
Subject: Law
Rights: Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

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