Mobile phone companies predict user movements

Mobile phone companies providing service to millions of people around the world could soon start predicting the movements of their users by analysing data on their handsets .

Research carried out by a team of computer scientists at the University of Birmingham revealed information stored on the devices can allow firms to estimate where consumers will be.

The analysts found future locations could be predicted with an error margin of just 60ft, fuelling fears of privacy invasions among individuals utilising the technology .

Although keywordmobile phone networks can track where a handset is in ‘real time’, scientists developed an algorithm to forecast where users will be and what they were doing.

The study analysed mobile phone data from a group of 200 people residing in the vicinity of Lausanne in Switzerland.

Study leader Dr Mirco Musolesi said: “Information extracted from the usage of a mobile phone is an intriguing source of data about people behaviour.”