How Moscow authorities monitor the movement of citizens (and how much it costs)

It has long been believed that our smartphonesthey record everything that happens around them and pass them on to third parties who can use the data for targeted advertising. A confirmation of this has not yet been found, but this does not mean at all that no one is following you using your mobile device. As it turned out, Moscow officials have access to information on the movement of city residents.

How does the municipality get this data? The geoanalyst is being sold by telecom operators, who have at their disposal information about the movement of citizens along the movement of their SIM cards. Officials are able to calculate the user's location up to 500 meters — Moscow and the Moscow region were “divided” into precisely such areas. The Department of Information Technology (DIT) of Moscow is responsible for the purchase of data, the purchase is made officially through government procurement.

As reported by representatives of the Analytical Centerunder the government (an intermediary between the DIT and cellular communication operators) to the Vedomosti newspaper, they work with impersonal data - that is, no one can find out where a particular user was. Nevertheless, the analysis of the movement of citizens takes place: for example, the home is the place where a person spends regular nights, work is the place where a person spends more time on weekdays from 10 to 17 hours. The system in the same way allows to identify people with traveling work and labor migrants.

Why do officials follow movements

According to analysts, such data helpsto develop the infrastructure of the city. For example, data on the movement of people on the metro and public transport are taken into account when laying the subway, reconstruction and construction of highways. Information also helps to correct data on the number of residents and working people in a particular area.

According to the movements of people, you can assume the form of ittransport. The General Plan Institute used data from operators when finalizing the Moscow railway junction and Moscow central diameters in 2017–2018.

Who sends the data and how much it costs

Geoanalyst sell all mobile operators,not only to the city authorities, but also to the business - such data helps to assess the profitability of the outlet in a particular place. The Moscow authorities have purchased from operators data on the movements of citizens for half a billion rubles from 2015. Total operators earn from the sale of such information billions of rubles a year, reported in VimpelCom.

The problem is that the use of geoanalyticsnothing (and no one) is controlled. So it can become a tool for advertising, campaigning and other purposes. Do you think it is necessary to ban the sale of such information? Share your opinion in our telegram chat.