Have you ever wondered whether your iPhone with GPS capability and continuous wireless transmission is creating an impromptu tracking device out of your cell phone? Have you been concerned that you can never really get away without someone knowing where you are at all times (given the rise of various top selling spy software)?
Bloggers and insiders alike have now proven that the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 have a constant tracking beacon on the phone, this article will go through the pros and con’s of this feature, and its potential future.
Once the plot of a sci-fi film, the ability for “big brother” to track your every move has now come to a smartphone near you. The Apple iPhone 3G, 3GS and iPhone 4 has recently been confirmed to be continuously updating your wireless provider with your exact location to the GPS coordinate. While this has always been a fear of iPhone customers, it has now been confirmed that the client’s sites are always within reach. The primary concern for most is that there is no way to disable this feature, making the device a catch 22 for most.
Most users report that they are not so much worried about the cellular company tracking their location; however, they are petrified of this technology being used by the wrong institution. Will debt collectors know where you are at all times? If you forgot to pay a speeding ticket, will you have a police manhunt based on your coordinates? If you don’t pay your taxes, will the IRS be on your hotel doorstep, or better yet, at your office to police your every move?
The word freedom has changed over the course of the past few decades. Many will say that users should not purchase this device if they are concerned about these features. It is indeed a service, or is it? Maybe your company will provide you with this device for use, just so that they can have your location. It will likely be a part of the small print on page 78 that allows them to track your location as part of your job contract.
Others compare this feature to the freedom of information act that was passed upon initiating the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Will the government be knocking on your door, or tracking you in your car because they are suspicious of you? Where can the line be drawn?
Proponents of this feature give a stark contrast to this belief by stating that the feature is only being used to help iPhone owners. With additions like Mobile I’s Find My iPhone, advocates are arguing that this feature will help iPhone users to recover lost devices and will likely hinder thieves from ever trying to steal an iPhone.
The cellular provider is also stating that they are using tracking information for research purposes. They are simply de-identifying customers and trying to see how the iPhone population as whole functions. Most clients are not in agreement with this practice, yet once again, the small print on page 80 states that you have agreed to this.
While cellular companies have always been able to triangulate a general location of a cell phone user based on tower signal strength, the ability for GPS-enabled phones to map an exact location has many users worried that this feature, when in the wrong hands, can be the potential problem.