Oh yeah, Bush and his Nightwatch Patrol (NSA) are most probably salivating over this new technology that is being deployed. While there are a lot of good things about this for families and law enforcement finding lost ones, I can’t help but worry how this will be used by Nightwatch when they have access (as if they don’t already), based on their current practices and hwo easily telecoms rollover.
You’re driving down a dark road late at night when you have a serious accident. You dial 911 on your cell phone. Even though you have only a vague idea of where you are, the 911 operator instantly gets a precise fix on your location. An ambulance arrives within minutes.
Your boss summons you for a closed-door meeting. “We notice from the tracking records on your company cell phone that you’ve been spending a lot of time after work in bars and nightclubs. We’re concerned you have a problem with alcohol or drugs. If you don’t seek treatment, you’ll be terminated.”
Welcome to the exciting and scary new world of electronic location tracking. After years of delay, cell phones are finally poised to take note of where they are — and report that information to others. This raises a number of unresolved legal and social issues revolving around privacy and etiquette.
Verizon Wireless, the nation’s second-largest cellular company, is stoking the debate by launching a new service today called Chaperone, which allows parents to track their children.
Sprint, the No. 3 wireless phone company, started a similar service in April called Family Locator.
The two companies combined have just over 100 million subscribers in the United States, so Chaperone and Family Locator make cell-phone tracking easily available to one-third of the nation’s population.
MercuryNews.com | 06/12/2006 | Digital footprints