Tracking (stalking?) made easy

Sometimes it takes an article in the New York Times to realize what an advantage it is technologically speaking, to live in a small country. It’s especially amusing when writers for the NYT speak of certain technologies or services as if they are completely new. I suppose that is inevitable for mainstream media?

Going back to the advantages of living in a small country: Not only does it make it easy to get the entire country broadband access, it also makes it very easy for concerned family members (and stalkers) to track locations of other people.

I’m not just talking about GPS tracking. GPS can track someone’s location, but it can’t determine the altitude, which is frustrating if you’re in a 50-story building. Combining GPS with local substations of cellular phone networks, however, gets one a more accurate location. Some companies are also hooking up the city with RFID readers to help families track senile grammas or disabled people. Special ‘kiddy phones’ have features of location transmission to parents at regular intervals.

Of course, there is the problem of privacy. It’s not so much of a problem with “official” services which require that tracking services only be applied upon consent of both parties, (or in the case of children, those who are only under a certain age) but with the unofficial ones. With chips being put into all sorts of items (from wine at supermarkets to the towels at public baths) how can you trust which chip is doing what, or know whether or not some object is track-free?


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