The smart phone in your pocket is a snitch. Malte Spitz from the German Green Party sued Deutsche Telekom to get access to the GPS location data his phone had produced over a year-and-a-half period. The surprisingly revealing results are available as an interactive map.
The data, which ZEIT ONLINE has made available for download and acts as the basis for our accompanying interactive map, were contained in a massive Excel document. Each of the 35.831 rows of the spreadsheet represents an instance when Spitz’s mobile phone transferred information over a half-year period. Seen individually, the pieces of data are mostly inconsequential and harmless. But taken together, they provide what investigators call a profile – a clear picture of a person’s habits and preferences, and indeed, of his or her life.