Localisation Technologies

Expert study (2012)


Opportunities and risks associated with localisation technologies

Localisation technologies offer a number of applications that are useful in everyday life. In the transportation sector, for example, satellite navigation not only facilitates individual movements, it also enables the optimisation of logistics within companies. Positioning systems can also prove extremely valuable for locating accident victims, especially in mountain areas. While there are undoubted benefits, localisation technologies raise ethical and legal questions, particularly with regard to privacy protection.

Why conduct a TA-SWISS study on this subject?

The use of localisation technologies is growing daily. Some applications making use of these certainly offer the advantages of rapid geopositioning. Nevertheless, they do also raise a number of controversial issues, ranging from fears of privacy being restricted to the risk of abuse. Applications already in use in Switzerland and in other countries are currently widely discussed.

Media information
Media release in French and German



Project supported by

  • Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS
  • Federal Statistical Office FSO
  • Federal Roads Office FEDRO
  • Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Project mandataries

  • Prof. Lorenz Hilty, EMPA, St Gall (Project Manager)
  • Barbara Debus, Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Berlin
  • Britta Oertel, Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Berlin
  • Michaela Wölk, Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Kurt Pärli, ZHAW, School of Management and Law, Winterthur

Supervisory group

  • Dr Bruno Baeriswyl, Data Protection and Information Commissioner, Zurich; TA-SWISS Steering Committee (chairman of the supervisory group)
  • Florence Bettschart, Fédération Romande des Consommateurs FRC, Lausanne
  • Alain Buogo, Federal Office of Topography swisstopo, Wabern
  • Dr Christine Giger, Giger GeoIT, Embrach
  • Prof. Dr Gudela Grote, Work and Organizational Psychology, ETH Zurich, Zurich
  • Dr Jessica Heesen, Albert-Ludwig University, Freiburg
  • Rainer Humbel, Federal Statistical Office FSO, Neuchâtel
  • Thomas Kallweit, FELA Management AG, Diessenhofen
  • Dr Francisco Klauser, Geography Institute, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel
  • Michael Kocheisen, Innovation Competence Center, Swisscom (Switzerland) AG, Bern
  • Ulrich Lattmann, Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW, Zurich
  • Urs Luthe, Federal Roads Office FEDRO, Bern
  • Franziska Meister, Die Wochen Zeitung, Zurich
  • Cyrill Osterwalder, Google, Zurich
  • Hans Kaspar Schiesser, Verband öffentlicher Verkehr, Bern
  • Philipp Stüssi, The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner FDPIC, Bern
  • Prof. Dr Rolf H. Weber, Center for Information and Communication Law, University of Zurich, Zurich
  • Dr Franz Zeller, Federal Office of Communications OFCOM, Bienne

 TA-SWISS Project management

  • Dr Sergio Bellucci, TA-SWISS, e-mail
  • Nadia Ben Zbir, TA-SWISS

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