Did you know just about every new cellphone manufactured in the last couple years contains a GPS tracking device? Handy if you're in trouble or need emergency help. A service like this can also be very useful for parents who's children have cellphones on them. However, it's not so handy if you value your privacy and don't want to be track and spammed. Many of the major cell companies don't give consumers a choice to turn the GPS tracking off yet. Most agree it should be voluntary.
Another issue are the newer cellphones with built in picture snapping technology. What it's a fun piece of technology, these are becoming problems because many people in private and public places are having their photo snapped without their knowledge. Many fitness centers now have signs and rules banning camphones from locker rooms and other private areas, for obvious reasons. Something to think about.
"The nation's cell phone service providers will soon know exactly where every one of their customers is, at all times, and privacy rights groups are asking what they plan to do with the information."
"Unflattering or invasive photos inevitably wind up on the Internet, bringing up a host of privacy questions, not to mention criminal charges. In Washington state, a man recently plead guilty to sliding a camera phone under a woman's skirt as she was shopping for groceries with her baby. In California, a school playground supervisor was caught using a camera phone to snap pictures of young girls in a bathroom stall."
For those of you who don't want your mobile operator to keep track of your whereabouts and flood you with unsolicited information, new software from Bell Laboratories gives you greater control over your privacy.
"If you purchased a new cellphone over the past 18 months or so, odds are that one of the features listed in small print on the side of the box was "E911 capable." Or, as in the case of my latest Motorola, "Location technology for piece [sic] of mind." Perhaps you asked the salesman to explain the feature, and he replied that it means that cops can home in on your phone in case of an emergency, a potentially important perk should you ever find your hand pinned beneath an immovable boulder in rural Utah, as Aron Ralston did recently. Assuming he could have gotten a signal, an E911-capable phone might have saved the young backpacker the pain of having to amputate his own arm. What your salesman probably failed to tell you - and may not even realize - is that an E911-capable phone can give your wireless carrier continual updates on your location. The phone is embedded with a Global Positioning System chip, which can calculate your coordinates to within a few yards by receiving signals from satellites."