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Responses to Loca have been many and varied, from confiscation of a Loca node by San Jose Police Department and an animated debate on the BBC World Service, to individuals who have been inspired, intrigued or shocked. Some learned for the first time through the project how Bluetooth functioned, and were compelled to switch their Bluetooth device to undiscoverable. Others have been inspired to go on to explore the creative possibilities of mobile media.

A discussion on Loca in Seoul, South Korea highlighted how debates on "privacy" can seem alien outside of Europe. However, it was found that people in Seoul were just as interested in issues of surveillance and "disclosure," just framed in a different way.

Controversy was generated following coverage of the project on BBC World Service's Digital Planet, when Shami Chakrabati, Director of Liberty and one of the UK's leading civil liberties advocates, was invited to comment on the project. The BBC presenters got a little confused. In an interview Drew Hemment stated that the project is not governed by privacy legislation because it does not publish personal data. The BBC reported on air to Chakrabati that the Loca team had said they do not care about people's privacy. Chakrabati was not impressed, and highlighted the distress it could have caused.

Previous projects on surveillance, such as ZKM's CTRL:SPACE exhibition, have highlighted how we today live between two poles of scopophobia and scopophilia - fear of being observed mixed with a seemingly endless desire to reveal ourselves, as seen in the success of Big Brother and MySpace. Loca found that these responses are often intertwined, and that locative media can inspire each in equal measure.

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