Didem Ozkul | dot com
Mobile communication and the ubiquity of the Internet have opened up new ways of accessing media content while on the move. Accordingly, types of information with which we interact online have started to heavily rely on our physical location. There has been a notable growth in the use of mobile Internet, location data, and mobile apps as part of daily activities (e.g. using a mobile location-based app such as Yelp to find nearby restaurants with good reviews, Foursquare to meet with people who are nearby, or Google Maps on a smartphone to navigate in a city and get directions to specific places). Social media giants, local businesses and advertising agencies have seen the commercial potential in targeting their users with relevant 'localised' content based on users' current location. They collect location data not only through their own services, but also through joint efforts such as aggregating data from other LBS and apps as well as other location APIs. This has led to the marketing and sale of location data and has given rise to many questions regarding the production, ownership and control of such location data. My research aims to provide a critical analysis of the commercial uses of location data and its impacts on society. It is situated within the intersection of scholarly discussions on political economy of the Internet and location technologies.