Monday, January 23, 2012

Does the Government Really Care How Much Time I Spend At Starbucks?

Fast Company reported last week that the government is tracking my iPhone usage. [Link:
Use An iPhone? Yup, The Government Tracks That]

I have a few friends online, mostly that guy from college who really, really wishes he could go be a student protestor in the late '60s, who have been posting about the same topic, claiming that the government is out to get us, tracking our every movement, etc.

But I seriously doubt that the government is interested in a detailed log of my iPhone's whereabouts:

7:00 AM - on the kitchen counter
8:00 AM - on the MBTA
9:00 AM - in my office
10:00 AM - in my office
11:00 AM - in my office
12:00 PM - in my office
1:00 PM - in my office
2:00 PM - at Starbucks
3:00 PM - in my office
4:00 PM - in my office
5:00 PM - in my office
6:00 PM - at the gym
7:00 PM - on the MBTA
8:00 PM - on the kitchen counter

You get the picture. It's entirely possible that President Obama could decide to look up my iPhone locations and determine that I spend too much time at the office and call my boss and tell him I need a vacation. But plausible? No.

I do not object to the government having access to the cell phone GPS data for people who are suspected of criminal acts. And if that means they are going to have access to everyone's data, but probably only use it in criminal investigations, I'm on board.

Technology keeps advancing and at some point we could all have GPS chips implanted in us, for all we know now. In comparison, a little data storage from cell phones seems pretty innocuous.

Or, you could all just unplug and stop carrying your cell phone around with you everywhere you go.