WGIC releases report on Geospatial Information and Privacy

23/03/2020 - Over the past years, there has been an increase in the use of technologies that collect, analyze, visualize, store, and distribute geolocation and other types of geospatial data. Smartphones and cars nowadays gather and generate all kinds of data linked to location for instance. The use of location data, as a subset of geospatial data, is often subject to privacy and data protection legislation. Such legislation is constantly evolving at a global scale and have an increasing impact on providers of geospatial data.  

Considerati supported the World Geospatial Industry Council (‘WGIC’) in the creation of a policy report with the aim of providing an overview of current privacy and data protection legislation and policies in key markets across the world that have an impact on the geospatial industryConsiderati provided support by providing the logic of privacy and data protection legislation as it applies to geospatial data. The policy report also includes an overview of a number of countries worldwide which were assessed against key global privacy and data protection obligations, using the GDPR as a benchmark. The policy report was published by the WGIC earlier this month and is now available as a free download.  

What is geospatial data and how does it concern privacy? 

Geospatial data combines location information (usually coordinates on the earth), attribute information (the characteristics of an object, event, or phenomena concerned), and often also temporal information (the time or life span at which the location and attributes exist).  

Geospatial data does not always relate back to, or provide the possibility to identify, individuals. However, where such geospatial data does provide for the possibility to identify, directly or indirectly, an individual, privacy and data protection legislation may apply. In such situations, the geospatial data may automatically become personal data. 

The use and nature of geospatial data is versatile and so it must always be considered what kind of information is attributed to the geospatial data. Where such information can be categorized as personal data, the use of geospatial data must be safeguarded against possible privacy risks. Considerati’s advice on how organizations, including organizations active outside of the geospatial industry, can best implemented such safeguards is also included in the policy report. 

Free download

If you are a provider of geospatial data or if you are interested in understanding more about the use of such data and the relation to privacy and data protection legislation from a global perspective, you can download the report here. 

If you want to know more on how the GDPR and other privacy and data protection legislation impacts your geolocation application, don’t hesitate to get into contact with us. 

Jonathan Toornstra Legal Consultant

Do you have any questions?

toornstra@considerati.com +31 (0) 618189615