Fragmented Footprints

With the dozens of location-based utilities available today leveraging location-smart devices for the social Web, our spatiotemporal digital footprints are becoming grossly fragmented into silos on cloud databases, 3rd party mobile application back-end systems, at Web destinations, in proxies, and even in carrier call detail record databases - all without a centralized accountable source available to glue together the fragments of information we publish about the places we visit, observations noted, and media we share across platforms. Other pieces of aspatial glue bind our digital lifestreams across disparate social networks, content sites, etc., but can the same happen for location-aware content, sites, and services? I'm optimistic, but as long as multiple sources of location information from handsets, carriers, proxies, and the Web separate the sharing, location-based social networks will remain closed-loop data-control houses with non-interoperable privacy management and policy enforcement mechanisms.  And with that, fragments of my digital footprint will remain isolated on planet application a, b, and c.