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The makings of Skynet?

February 6, 2009

No, not the courier variety. I’m talking about the evil big brother we saw in Arnie’s flick The Terminator.

So Google announced it has a new service that “lets users share location data with friends, using either a mobile phone or Google Gears-equipped computer. ”

In plain words, the system – named Latitude – can track anyone down. Its an opt-in service of course, to safeguard your privacy. You choose whether you want it or not.

Not so fast, a consumer advocacy group cries. Already, it lists 5 scenarios where this thing can be abused. Your employer can give you a Latitude enabled phone and contractually you cannot say no. A parent can give a Latitude enabled phone without telling the child he/she’s being tracked. Your friend or spouse can covertly enable it. And so on. Read about it here.

Where this is going to go is anyone’s guess. Using GPS, Google maps and cell towers, its concievable that this can fit into a device as small as your thumbnail and placed anywhere – in your wallet, your car, your watch. James Bond will be envious.

A friend of mine tells me you only need to fear this sort of thing if you have something to hide.

Hmmm… I’m not sure if I buy that. Do you?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2009 8:13 pm

    Hahha, criminals can track you down too then. 😀 I think millionaires should be very afraid now. Maybe the most popular job of 2009 and 2010 is going to be ……….bodyguards.

    I can see this tech being a hit among attention whores and jealous spouses, but it may be good in areas where kidnappings are high like in the Philippines.

  2. LC Teh permalink
    February 10, 2009 10:31 am

    ‘I’ve nothing to hide’. ‘My conscience is clear’.
    Politicians’ favorite statements. Question is: Is anybody clean enough to cast the first stone of condemnation against anyone else on this good old earth? The doubt still exists…

    James Bond won’t be surprised they finally make this gadget for everybody’s use.

    It might be useful to put an end to the problem of “missing” politicians. :mrgreen:

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