We know where you are

People are sensitive about the government infringing upon their privacy, but they don’t seem to mind when online or on-cell-phone companies do. Here is an article about the marriage between GPS systems and cell phones: When the Phone Goes With You, Everyone Else Can Tag Along.

It talks about how you can synch your cell phone into your Face Book account so that all of your friends will know where you are. And the advertisers are really excited about the new horizons this opens up for targeted ads, which can deliver come-ons to your cell phones as you are driving near businesses. A Google exec rhapsodizes over the possibilities:

“You could see a banner ad for a coupon to go to any old Loews theater. But what if that ad said, ‘Hey, Brian, the new Batman is showing at the Loews in Alexandria, a couple of miles from where you’re heading two hours from now. Click on this coupon, and it’s half rate,’ ” he said. “Imagine the conversion rate.”

This is all presented as if it were a good thing. I do see that this technology is good for police tracking down felons and for parents tracking down children, but do we really want advertisers tracing our every move? And do we really want to build an infrastructure that would make a totalitarian police state technologically possible?

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