Paranoid?

Technology is rarely a problem. If there’s a problem, it’s with how it’s used. Technology is a tool, plain and simple. But what if the tool is doing things the user isn’t aware of?

I don’t mean to sound all ‘cloak and dagger’ about it. The simple fact is, electronic devices can do more than the previous generation of the same device. It’s said that 80% of people use 20% of the features. This 80% can be a problem when the owner doesn’t know what they are.

“I Am Here: One Man’s Experiment With the Location-Aware Lifestyle” by Mathew Honan, from Wired, delves into this topic with respect to GPS and other ‘location-aware’ technology in our electronic devices.

This paragraph is an eye-opener:

On a sunny Saturday, I spotted a woman in Golden Gate Park taking a photo with a 3G iPhone. Because iPhones embed geodata into photos that users upload to Flickr or Picasa, iPhone shots can be automatically placed on a map. At home I searched the Flickr map, and score-a shot from today. I clicked through to the user’s photostream and determined it was the woman I had seen earlier. After adjusting the settings so that only her shots appeared on the map, I saw a cluster of images in one location. Clicking on them revealed photos of an apartment interior-a bedroom, a kitchen, a filthy living room. Now I know where she lives.

Does the woman even know her phone encodes location data in her photos? Unlikely.


Hat tip to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

This entry was posted in electronics, privacy. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Shawn
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 08:23 | Permalink

    Holly Hannah!!!! Stalkers of the world rejoice. Bet ya this will make it’s way to an episode of CSI or Law & Order real soon.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*