Cellular Phones, Convenient Communication and Your Invisible Leash.

Thinking about taking your cell with you to the next direct action or mass civil disobedience event?  Please reconsider.

The following article from Peter Maas and Megha Rajagopalan at ProPublica entitled, “That’s No Phone, That’s My Tracker“, provides an effective warning about how your cell phone is now better considered as your personal tracking device and that to continue regarding this device as your ‘phone’ might be a touch….simple.  One professor referenced in the article goes so far as consider them as robots which take in and communicate with the world with us (owners) acting as a vehicle for the device.  These robots log and store a LOT of potentially sensitive information.  Location, activity, communications, preferences, and travel patterns are all stored and surrendered to various agencies with an increasing frequency that SHOULD be making you squirm.

Rather than republishing the article I am providing a direct link to the original ProPublica content here:

http://www.propublica.org/article/thats-no-phone.-thats-my-tracker

The average persons social reporting or activities are not likely to land them in jail or have the eye of the government look twice (No bragging about your tax evasion, or Terabyte Pirate Bay exploits now), but do you really want to be a willing accomplice to the “frictionless” accumulation of your personal information?  The eerie feeling that you are being watched (you really are being watched), will be eased by a corporate salve of streamlined advertising and a slew of new apps designed to keep your head down.  With releases like “Turf Wars” via itunes, Companies like Apple aren’t even trying to hide this application of your device anymore.  Making a game of tracking your location? Scary stuff.  An informal statistic that I located on a user forum for this game stated that roughly a year ago there were 4.2 million accounts with 1.8 million active users.  That is a LOT of information.

Jean-Paul Sartre philosophized that we only becomes aware of ourselves when subjected to the gaze of another.  With this many eyes around you could easily visualize a hyper paranoid populace too uncomfortable in their own skins to function socially rather than the eager igeneration waiting for the next Foursquare or Angry Birds experience.

Please be aware and safe with your information.

For the sake of being thorough here are the links regarding  GPS gaming example:

Turf Wars via itunes,

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/turf-wars/id332185049?mt=8

User stats for Turf Wars,

http://turfwarsapp.com/forum/267/topic/50305515/

Please comment, critique, and share.

-AnimalStatic

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