Ads aren’t really the disturbing part of this though.
Did any of those people give explicit consent for their location to be tracked anonymously? Obviously not. I think the point I’m trying to make with my piece is more that we have no idea what our phones are doing, where the data is going, and how it’s being used. I don’t really take comfort in the fact it’s anonymous, that’s the bare minimum for it to be legal.
Location data is also inherently not anonymous. I don’t know if that dataset actually gave all the places a person went in 90 days, or just whether they went to a gym. If their location could be tracked to a gym, it could be tracked to their house or workplace, at which point it stops being anonymous in the true sense of anonymity.