Don't say we didn't warn you!
The FTC (US Federal Trade Commission) has recently suggested mobile companies to obtain users' consent before collecting their location data with offering a "Do Not Track" option.
The tracking possibilities of mobile devices have become increasingly sophisticated today. Thinking about combining our Google searches with mobile payment and GPS data, tweets and Facebook posts, Opentable reservations and Foursquare check-ins is not a crazy idea, it sounds real and will eventually be possible very soon, no doubt, but so will the data abuse.
Tracking information could be considered as a breach of privacy but not for those exploiting it. The more personal data you can link, the more complete a profile you can make, and the more damage you do when your intentions are not good or even malefic.
"We need to strike a balance between convenience and concern" says Benjamin Robbins.
Did you know that when Google tracked you 12 hours every day between 8pm and 8am at the same place, it ended up calling it Home? Scary? Yes! This is so scary that Google just has changed it and from now on asks you if you want to add one address as your home or office one.
In another hand, we must admit we love it! The conveniences of being tracked on where we are or what we do are endless. We got addicted to them and we are lost without them! From checking your way and time to get to an appointment or bus schedules and chosing the best option to go back home to the best prices this week on a new drill you need to buy, the phone became part of our lives and we want it to be base on our current location. Even more, we secretly wish that passing by Tim Hortons or a drugstore our phone would offer promotional opportunities on our favorite donut or remind us that we are running out of toothpaste!
This also means gaining insight into app performance and usage. All data of users' behaviour give a picture of where apps were used, hence further refinements and improved experiences. As the data collected grows, the possibility of abuse of data grows as well. We must admit that we love our-monster-to-be-phone, but we should be aware that boundaries will irreparably be pushed further over time. Do not say I did not warn you!
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