Sophisticated, new mobile phones with GPS have significant implications for consumers’ privacy, according to an EU think tank.
In a new report into the technology, the Future of Identity in the Information Society (FIDIS) claims that mobile phones which use GPS to help users find their around in unfamiliar locales could also be harnessed in ways that would damage their interests.
This is because of the “staggering" degree of information about mobile phone owners’ lifestyles that can be accessed by operators through GPS.
Should this information, which might include how often customers went to bars or took exercise, be shared with insurance company it could severely impact on premiums or even result in insurance cover being denied to the applicant, the group warns.
Denis Royer, a researcher at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, told the Press Association: "This information is of course extremely useful for companies aiming to produce targeted advertising, and of course many of us would gladly receive customised drinks offers when we're heading to a local coffee shop.
"However, if users are targeted based on their inferred lifestyle, which restaurants they visit, or how much alcohol they seem to drink, their own information could potentially be used against them."