The Information Commissioner's Office has voiced concerns over the growing pervasiveness of location-based services and the lack of end user awareness about how much data these systems transmit.
Speaking at the A Fine Balance - Location and Cyber Privacy in the Digital Age conference on Monday Jonathan Bamford, head of strategic liaison at the data protection watchdog, said the speed of development in this sector leaves regulators struggling to ensure that the necessary safeguards are in place.
"The sheer scale of technological change and the ingenuity with which people are using location-based service data feeds means we are always playing catch-up," he said at the event in London.
Bamford explained that this growth is creating a lack of awareness as to how devices operate, and that end users are losing the ability to control the data that is sent on their movements.
"The ubiquitous nature of the devices you carry around that provide data directly to organisations without users being aware means you've lost the clear relationship where it's the users' choice over which data they provide," he said.
"[For example], I have a mobile device and someone has created an app, but it is completely unknown to me that it's sending data on where that device is: it might not cause terrible things to happen to me but it's unknown to me."
Also speaking at the event was Richard Hollis, from US group the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, who warned that the development of IPv6 networks could open up even more data on individuals to large companies.
"As we match the physical world to the virtual world, by placing items such as fridges or even your car keys on the internet, firms could have even more access to your data, your location and your life," he said.
The rollout of IPv6 networks will create over 340 trillion trillion trillion unique addresses, and is expected to usher in the next-generation of the internet's development by enabling almost any object to be connected.
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