When wildlife researchers want to study the migration habits of specific animal species, they frequently implant, or tag, a member of the species with a tracking device. Now imagine a corporation wanted to understand the movements of humans. Is this the same thing? Should data on our individual locations at any given time be accessible to a corporate entity, like a phone company? If your answer to this question is “yes” or “I don’t care,” ask if you would like the government to know your whereabouts at all times? If you answer “yes” or “I don’t care,” then I think you are completely irrational. Either that, or you feel that you can gain something from being tracked, recorded, analysed, manipulated, or monitored.
No government or corporation should be given the right to monitor us to the extent that computer and telecommunications companies today do. This amounts to a startling precursor to potential mass social control; it really is akin to dystopic science fictions like “Minority Report,” “1984,” or “THX1138“.If you haven’t seen these films, then get them and see some of the negative implications and possibilities of living in such a society.
Having recorded data on any individual with a cell phone is a very powerful thing. It can reveal your life patterns and your daily schedules. It could so easily be abused for monetary gains or an uneasing new brand of law enforcement. It effectively amounts to a form of imprisonment. It gives people with access to such information a certain power over you that many may not fully realise. Do you really want some strange company who works with government security agencies to know who you are, where you are, who you are with, when you were where, what you are likely doing at any given time? Not to mention, these same companies have access to our Internet searches, our communications, our social networks. It is rather naive to think that companies with access to such powerful information would completely neglect using it for some aim to their own benefit.
More important to ask than “What are these companies doing with our information?” is “What capabilities do they have?”