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Is collecting data on traffic from residents' mobile phones a threat to personal privacy?

Update: March, 20/2015 - 11:25

The latest plan to monitor urban traffic was introduced on Monday by the National Traffic Safety Committee, in which the use of data collected from residents' smartphones would play the key role.

After downloading a free map application on their smartphones, data of the users' speed and route would be transferred to their mobile network provider's information centres.

The data would then be transmitted to officials for analysis to better monitor traffic flow, adjust traffic lights and perhaps go so far as to forecast and design future traffic projects.

The pilot plan is expected to start in Ha Noi this July before being implemented nationwide.

Though officials assured that the data collected from the smartphones would be only traffic-related, many vocalized resistance to the idea of being tracked everywhere they set foot.

Do you think that the plan is feasible? Is collecting data on traffic from mobile phones a threat to personal privacy? Have you ever experienced this kind of smartphone-integrated project in other countries?

Please reply by email to: opinion@vnsmail.com, or by fax to (84-4) 3 933 2311. Letters can be sent to The Editor, Viet Nam News, 79 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi. Replies to next week's questions must be received by Thursday morning, March 26, 2015. — VNS

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