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Cool New GPS Tracking Software or Dangerous Orwellian Nightmare?

September 13th, 2009

citysenseSee the photo over there to the left?

That’s a screenshot of the new GPS tracking software by Sense Networks called Citysense.

Basically it’s a program you download and run on your iPhone or Blackberry that gives you a live feed of where to find people around the city with similar backgrounds and interests.

It does this by automatically tracking where everyone goes at certain times of the day and then lumps all the data into a heatmap overlay of the city, instantly allowing you to see where certain kinds of people are likely to be found at certain times of day.

Everyone’s profiles are recorded and tracked by the GPS chips embedded on the mobile devices then logged into a database over the wireless network. After that, finding out where people are right now is as simple as doing a Google search.

And since most people these days wouldn’t be caught dead without their beloved cell phone (seldom turning them off), all the data is crisp and accurate.

Of course the general idea with this software is to help people find hotspots of local activity where they’re most likely to meet people similar to them, and hopefully make some new friends…

…but how easily would it be for someone to take this simple idea… and turn it into a systematic method of hunting down:

1. Political opponents?
2.
Personal enemies?
3.
Rival gangs?
4. Rape victims?
5. Any “undesirable” group of society?

Thankfully right now the software is opt-in only and the personal details are anonymous. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to make new friends.

But you know how these things go: It’s only a matter of time before the right person gets ahold of the ideas and technology and soon all those anonymous features begin to erode away.

The best time to protect your privacy is NOW, by designing a comfortable lifestyle off the radar without giving up the things you enjoy today. Joe Decameron shows you how in his new course, The Perfect Privacy Solution.


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