For Carriers, Movements Mean Money

For years, mobile carriers have kept accurate records of where and where its users have accessed their cellular network. Realizing the potential goldmine in all that Big Data, Verizon has decided to monetize this information.

According to Technology Review this data is valuable. "More comprehensive than the data collected by any app, this is the kind of information that, experts believe, could help cities plan smarter road networks, businesses reach more potential customers, and health officials track diseases. But even if shared with the utmost of care to protect anonymity, it could also present new privacy risks for customers."

"Similarly, Verizon is working to sell demographics about the people who, for example, attend an event, how they got there or the kinds of apps they use once they arrive. In a recent case study, says program spokeswoman Debra Lewis, Verizon showed that fans from Baltimore outnumbered fans from San Francisco by three to one inside the Super Bowl stadium. That information might have been expensive or difficult to obtain in other ways, such as through surveys, because not all the people in the stadium purchased their own tickets and had credit card information on file, nor had they all downloaded the Super Bowl’s app."

The plan is still being developed by Verizon.