Mr. Sadeh's research focuses on whether location-tracking services can be run in a way that doesn't creep people out. Jeffrey R. Young, Now You Can Track Colleagues and Students on Your Laptop, Chronicles of Higher Education, 2-27-09
CyLab Research Update: Locaccino Enables the Watched to Watch the Watchers
Do you remember the Marauders Map from the Harry Potter series? It was one of the most powerful magical objects in Potter's possession; and was entrusted to him by the free-spirited Weasley twins, Fred and George.
At first glance, the Map is simply a blank piece of parchment; but when the user points their wand at the Map and says, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," the message "Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, purveyors of aids to magical mischief-makers, are proud to present the Marauders Map," and a detailed layout of Hogwarts Castle appears.[HP3] Saying, "Mischief managed!" returns the map to its original blank state.[HP3] The Map displays the entire contents of Hogwarts, including its occupants, secret passageways (and instructions on how to access them), and other mysteries ... Magical Objects in Harry Potter, Wikipedia
Well, much of what is called magic is actually science that has yet to be explained.
As Jeffrey Young remarks in his recent Chronicle of Higher Education article, "The technology to track your every move is already here."
"Google announced a service just this month called Latitude," Young adds, "which uses information from your cellphone or from your laptop's Internet connection to home in on your location and let you share it with friends."
CyLab researcher Professor Norman Sadeh and his team have developed Loccacino, a location-centered social application that addresses some of the privacy qualms related to such technology by empowering the user in ways that are both meaningful and practical.
Indeed, Loccacino is a project which exemplifies the work of the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS).
"The problem with most of the location trackers on the market is that they don't give people enough control over who can see them, and under what conditions, Mr. Sadeh says. ... Most of his test subjects started out reluctant to share their every move, even with friends. But users generally warmed to the system after they found the "hide my location" button for when they wanted to drop off the map. ...
One of the features Mr. Sadeh is most proud of in his own system is called "Who's Viewed Me," which, as the name suggests, lists every moment in the recent past when another user on the system saw your location. Jeffrey R. Young, Now You Can Track Colleagues and Students on Your Laptop, Chronicles of Higher Education, 2-27-09
To learn more about Loccacino, and to join its Facebook application, click here.