They’re Watching You

Well, this really isn’t a surprise:

Apple Inc.’s iPhones and Google Inc.’s Android smartphones regularly transmit their locations back to Apple and Google, respectively, according to data and documents analyzed by The Wall Street Journal—intensifying concerns over privacy and the widening trade in personal data.
Google and Apple are gathering location information as part of their race to build massive databases capable of pinpointing people’s locations via their cellphones. These databases could help them tap the $2.9 billion market for location-based services—expected to rise to $8.3 billion in 2014, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

It’s been a goal of such companies for years to move these devices to the point of eliminating the distance between impulse and purchase. Whether that represents convenience or manipulation is a matter of opinion. Personally, I think a little such distance is an important aspect of self-control, and if devices get to the point of continually placing unrequested items into your awareness, that could be very disruptive. One can only hope that consumers will recognize as much and push back… probably by creating demand for somebody else to create an application that blocks the intrusions.
This is just one of those aspects of technology that we’re going to have to learn to deal with. What’s disconcerting, as a number of action and conspiracy movies from the past decade prove, is the interconnectivity of everything and the impossibility of expecting the average person to have any idea what to look for to safeguard privacy. Hopefully a new market for consultants will open up, rather than a new opportunity for government to regulate and manipulate for itself.

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12 years ago

“Google and Apple are gathering location information as part of their race to build massive databases capable of pinpointing people’s locations via their cellphones.”
Yes, I understand that this is being done with “pure” (i.e., capitalistic) motives.
It has crossed well into the realm of the creepy.

12 years ago

“It has crossed well into the realm of the creepy.”
Funny you should use the term “creepy”, Monique.
Web Site:
Fun little tool to play with, yet most have the GPS turned off with their apps.
My sister, a private investigator thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread though.

Donald Dumps
Donald Dumps
12 years ago take a look at my website if you want to leave RI or clean up your area. Everyone has to leave, Chafee will take this posting soon.

12 years ago

Wal-Mart for years has been photographing people entering, shopping and leaving its stores. Reportedly Wal-Mart has the largest database of face recognition photographs in the nation. It is widely reported that the minute you walk through the Wal-Mart door they know which isles you will probably walk down and what you will purchase.
Just like the old Radio Shack may I have your zip code for the receipt please! Radio Shack built one of the largest marketing firms based on that database giving them the opportunity to understand shopping patterns and apply them to strategic placement of goods based on purchase histories.
CVS, Stop & Shop and every other company that uses a rewards card giving you a slight discount on your purchases is collecting marketing data.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
12 years ago

If I understood the Drudge story correctly, things have already taken a frightening turn. Apparently police are able to download the info from your phone during a routine stop, without your knowledge. If this does not require a search warrant, I’d like to know why. Perhaps because you are “broadcasting” it. As I understood it, this info was stored on a chip in the phone and had to be downloaded, as opposed to broadcasting it.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
12 years ago

PS, Years ago, divorce lawyers learned the trick of subponeaing your records from On-Star.

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