Location and Security!

  • EM Quantum Technology
The mantra of every real estate agent worth his salt has always been: location, location, location. Move forward to today and the mantra is: location-sharing, location-sharing, location-sharing! The major social networking companies have all launched full scale attacks on knowing our whereabouts. Facebook was one of the first, adding a location-sharing feature to its messenger service, although it seems to be backing off to some extent. However WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, is currently beta testing live location-sharing software that will let its users pinpoint their contacts' locations. Snapchat recently added its newest feature which takes location-sharing to a higher level, showing each user's exact location down to the street address, whether the app is active or not. The app's location-sharing ability is automatically activated until the user switches the mobile device to ghost mode, causing concern for many parents. Since Snapchat is the most popular social networking site among teenagers today, the addition of this automatic service raises some important questions.

There are, in fact, a number of apps on the market that were designed intentionally for parents to track their children's whereabouts, and the platforms themselves having been keeping general tabs on all of us since the smartphone was introduced. However now we are being given the technology to let the aggregate community know not only our geographical position, but also what we are doing, how we are traveling and even who we are with. As we all rush to upgrade the newest add-on, several questions come to mind. Do we really want such power in the hands of children who may not understand the full scope of the world they live in? What responsibilities do software developers have, by creating technology that empowers users to improve or harm the lives of others? Is it worth losing our privacy, our personal space and our individuality in order to use this technology? Are the latest software developments creating an immense spy network around us? How much information should our governments have access to? Is George Orwell, the author of 1984, saying "I told you so" right now? At the moment, we have more questions than answers. We can only wait and see. Location-sharing is the latest developers' mantra, and everyone is rushing to develop new versions of this leading concept.