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Sense and Sensibilities: What Happens When You Can Measure Our Offline Reality Like You Can the Online World?

Computing, GeoLocation
Location: Empire Room Level: Novice
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If I were to tell you that someone can observe where you go, what you look at, where you spend your time, and where you spend your money – would you be concerned? Even if it was anonymous?

Many of us are aware that this happens on the Web today, with systems such as Hitwise. It doesn’t stop us using the Internet, but how do we feel about this when it comes to talking about the “real world?”

With the recent increase in the usage of sensor networks, the same level of automated data collection that is available to the online world is making its way offline. There are far reaching implications of sensing the offline world and the aim of our talk is to lay out both the advantages and the disadvantages of this analysis. With reference to Path Intelligence’s experience in providing automated measuring offline, we will discuss the sensitivities of dealing in the “real world” and call for more awareness of the issues that surround such data collection.

Photo of Sharon Biggar

Sharon Biggar

Social Point

Sharon is the Head of Analytics at Social Point, one of the world’s leading developers of games for mobile with a fan base of more than 50 million active monthly players across the world. As Head of Analytics Sharon’s role involves providing the necessary Big Data architecture required to process 1 billion events per day, creating predictive analytics to customize the player experience and building text analytics to ensure that Social Point listens to and responds to the ideas of its players.
Prior to joining Social Point Sharon was co-founder and CEO at Path Intelligence. Path Intelligence is a retail analytics firm that uses proprietary mobile location technology to understand and predict the way that shoppers behave inside shopping malls. The firm detects over 30 million shoppers per week and is installed in 16 countries across the globe. Sharon and her co-founders have been recognized for their innovation and technology leadership through various awards and Path Intelligence has been featured regularly in the media including on the BBC, CNN and The Economist.

Sharon has an MBA degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA, an MA in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Toby Oliver


Before joining Typeform, Toby was CTO at Path Intelligence and invented a world first technology based on software defined radio, wrote a global data capture system that processed 560Tb of data a day, and built and led the agile technology teams there.

Toby began his career at Thomson Thorn Missile Electronics as a software engineer before moving on to IBM Research labs. At JP Morgan, he worked on a groundbreaking straight-through processing system which eventually spun into a separate company.
Toby has a BEng(Hons) from the Special Engineering Programme, he is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the IET.

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Bobby Vadnais
03/12/2009 4:16pm PDT


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