Finns To Use Cell Phones To Monitor Traffic Jams

Eugen Leitl eugen at
Mon Dec 30 05:13:09 PST 2002

Posted by Hemos  on Monday December 30, @07:59AM
from the interesting-adaptation dept.

Okko writes "The Finnish Road Administration announced it is going to use 
cellphone location data to find out about traffic jams. They say they are 
using the location data available from the GSM base stations to determine 
the locations and speeds of vehicles carrying mobile phones. The 
information will be used to inform people about traffic jams and peaks in 
traffic trough public FM radio stations. Until now, the information about 
traffic has been gathered using car sensors embedded in the roads. The 
spokesperson of FRA, interviewed in the evening news of MTV3 Finland, 
seemed very pleased they can monitor cell phones even when no calls are 
made, it is enough the phone has power on. They said they are about to use 
the information anonymously and thought people approve it as long as it is 
done in an anonymous and "everyone-wins" way. It was told they do not 
currently tell the police about the data they discover as the current law 
forbids this. So, it is not, at least yet, possible to fine people 
carrying mobile phones in their cars too fast on public roads (exceeding 
the speed limit of the road). Unfortunately, probably because of 
vacations, FRA has not updated their website accordingly yet. There does 
exist an annoucement about testing the technology from the summer. "

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