Cell Phones Track You

First the light story: “Sending GPS The Way of the Tape Deck,” where a NYTimes reporter speculates thst just about now smartphones pack enough of a wallop to have made standalone GPS devices superfluous.

Just when you are feeling good about the phone as multi-function device (and indeed a decent phone with the right software is very capable of replacing a dashboard GPS unit)…read this other Times story,”Growing Presence in the Courtroom: Cellphone Data as Witness.”   What the piece explores is: “the surge in law enforcement’s use of increasingly sophisticated cellular tracking techniques to keep tabs on suspects before they are arrested and build criminal cases against them by mapping their past movements.”

There you have it: your cellphone knows where you’ve been: “many more cellphones are equipped with global-positioning technology that makes it possible to pinpoint a user’s position with much greater precision, down to a few dozen yards,” reports the Times and in at least two prominent NYC murder trails, cellphone location evidence played crucial roles in pinpointing where a prie suspect was when the deed came down.

More compelling: the technology exists to allow cell phone carriers to track targets in real time (say, vis a vis an Amber alert).

And now tools are emerging to (voluntarily) let others track your every move and to email them with updates of your progress along a route.

Is all this good, bad?  Keep tuning into this blog for fresh updates on your privacy and what’s come of it.

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