Seminar Series

Tracking your every move - today and tomorrow


Jakob Eriksson


The University of Illinois at Chicago

Time & Place

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 16:00:00 NZDT in Erskine 315.


Not too long ago, tracking the movements of individuals was an obscure activity largely reserved for detective novels and the occasional creepy stalker. Lately, however, massive-scale continuous location surveillance has quietly become a fact of life, pursued by organizations as diverse as Google, Amazon, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and the U.S. Department of Transportation, not to mention cyber-criminals, jealous spouses and helicopter parents. An equally wide range of technologies is used for this virtual stakeout job, including spyware on your laptop and mobile devices, roadside radio receivers (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more), license plate reading devices, face-recognizing surveillance cameras, RFID tags and readers, and more. 
In this talk, we will review some of the more pervasive people-tracking methods in use today, together with related techniques and more (or less) well-known uses. We'll then put on a pair of decidedly rose-colored glasses, and try to see what good our Orwellian future may bring, and what challenges lie ahead, beyond the by-now-quaint notion of protecting your location privacy.


Jakob Eriksson is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to that, he did a two year stint at MIT CSAIL as a postdoc, received his Ph.D. at UC Riverside, and his undergraduate degree at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. His research interests are broad, and include mobile computing, operating systems, and computer vision.