Stop the Secrecy

Bits of Freedom: Cellphone metadata: so much more than "phone book" information

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 16:08 -- Eva Prkachin

Ton Siedsma used an app to track the private information that his smartphone stored. The amount that it revealed about his personal life shocked him.

Article by Dimitri Tokmetzis for Bits of Freedom

Intelligence services collect metadata on the communication of all citizens. Politicians would have us believe that this data doesn’t say all that much. A reader of De Correspondent put this to the test and demonstrated otherwise: metadata reveals a lot more about your life than you think.

Ton Siedsma is nervous. He made the decision weeks ago, but keeps postponing it. It’s the 11th of November, a cold autumn evening. At ten past eight (20:10:48 to be exact), while passing Elst station on the way home, he activates the app. It will track all of his phone’s metadata over the coming week.

Metadata is not the actual content of the communication, but the data about the communication; like the numbers he calls or whatsapps, and where his phone is at a particular moment. Whom he e-mails, the subject of the e-mails and the websites he visits.

- Read more at Bits of Freedom