Today at dinner my family had a discussion about smartphone GPS tracking and whether or not it is too much. My step-dad’s opinion is that we have given up a sort of “privacy” because our phones have the ability to track our every location. However our phones give us the option to turn tracking services off.
For example, when I got my new iPhone and opened up the camera application, the first thing I was asked was “Would you like to turn location services on?”
NO! Why on earth would I want to turn location services on for my camera? This is where I agree with my step-dad – we have gone overboard in tracking too much. However where I disagree with my step-dad is when I simply hit “No” and that was that.
So these are the conclusions we came to in regards to this topic:
The convenience of having GPS on our phones outweighs the negative connotation associated with someone potentially being able to track our every room. The potential of someone hacking my phone is greater with the lack of security on phones as compared to computers, however with proper maintenance and knowledge of applications, this can be avoided.
It has always existed
The ability to track the location of a cell phone has always existed. The signal a cell phone sends can be tracked based on the towers in the area. Both Apple and Google have said that the location data they specifically collect cannot be tied back to a single user – the data is essentially anonymous.
People share their information willingly
If someone was trying to track another person, there are easier means to do this than to hack a cell phone to collect the location data. People consistently post “I am at <insert location here>” status updates. The FourSquare application allows people to “check-in” and become mayor of a given location – thus indicating that this is a location they frequent often. Even Yelp allows people to check-in and disclose the exact location they’re at and the exact time. This data is easily obtained, and is willingly provided.