Japanese government reveals plan to use mobile phone data to track tourists

Posted on October 18, 2013 • Filed under: Japan, Travel News

Bangkokpost.com reports that the Japan Tourism Authority is planning to use location data for mobile phone users to track the movements of tourists in what it says is a project to discover popular spots and develop tourism resources, dismissing privacy concerns. Research using such data, also known as “meta data,” covering an estimated 700,000 people will be conducted on a trial basis at Mount Fuji and seven other locations until March next year, according to the agency. Mobile phone carriers will update the location data of users of phones with global positioning systems every five minutes to a map information service company that will in turn produce movement charts for analysis. On privacy concerns, an agency official said, “please feel at ease because personal information such as name, address and sex are removed.” Read article

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