[OSM-dev] [bug] direction of GPS traces

Karl Newman siliconfiend at gmail.com
Tue Apr 14 16:20:23 BST 2009

On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 7:56 AM, Andy Robinson (blackadder-lists) <
ajrlists at googlemail.com> wrote:

> A Morris wrote:
> >Sent: 14 April 2009 3:48 PM
> >To: osm-dev List
> >Subject: Re: [OSM-dev] [bug] direction of GPS traces
> >
> >That doesn't sound very private to me... It seems to me it would be
> >very easy to join the dots from, say, someone's house and see where
> >they go to. Especially if I could download the "public" traces
> >separately, and subtract these from the area download, leaving just
> >the private traces...
> >
> >Frankly this sounds like a disastrous security hole.
> Well it's been like it is for the last 4+ years! If you uploaded your GPS
> data and it wasn't visible at all then what use would it be in OSM having
> it! By the very act of uploading GPS data to OSM you are making a
> contribution. It's only the original uploaded trace file that is made
> available to the wider public if you wish or kept private if you wish not.
> Cheers
> Andy

I've been around OSM for a few years now and I was not aware "private" GPS
trackpoints were available for download. I looked in a couple obvious places
on the Wiki ([1] and [2]) by following the Help link on the upload page and
the availability of non-public trackpoints is not mentioned anywhere.
Perhaps that fact could be made overtly clear on the upload page (i.e., a
checkbox with a disclaimer "I understand that by not checking Public it
doesn't really mean anything") for the paranoid among us that had the
illusion of privacy for something marked not Public.


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