Thursday, April 28, 2011

Data Tracking & Smartphones

Just about anywhere you turn today, there are users complaining about data tracking, whether it be for Android or iOS devices. I am frankly amazed at the blissful ignorance of those individuals. The very services they love to use and that have greatly accentuated their mobile lives they seem to think was all done by magic. (Sure, I resent just as much as the next person that location-based ads will start becoming more pronounced—especially in light of the fact that AT&T has now put a choke chain on the amount of data that a user can consume. It would sure irritate me if I started receiving numerous, unsolicited ads that count against my data plan. But that is another story.)

The fact is that the whole reason the government mandated more accurate GPS systems was specifically for the reason of tracking. (We were spoon fed the idea that it was for our own safety but that was just to get us to buy in.) It doesn’t take brain surgery to realize that. But I am not suggesting that the intent was nefarious either. Did we really expect that social media and other apps would just be NSA? Apparently so. But the fact is in order for those services to work correctly, just by definition there would have to be some data caching. The greater population of users do not realize that. If anything, what this all argues in favor of is that we users need to educate ourselves. If we don’t want all this monitoring, then perhaps we should settle for nothing more than QMD (Quick Messaging Devices). You love your smartphone? Then stop your whining.

(Maybe we should get rid of mobile phones all together--after all, every time a phone hits a tower, it can be tracked and movement charted. Gasp!)

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