The mobile phone has been rightly credited with invading our lives and changing how we work and play. This tiny device has taken up so many roles in our lives, that it is almost unimaginable.
One of the things that that mobile is presently doing is killing the concept of privacy. Of course, mobile is not doing it alone. For example, a huge chunk of this is done in concert with an internet connection. There, now you know the evil twins!
Back in the day, I could scribble a secret message on a piece of paper, seal it and send to a friend, who after reading it, burns it, and that’s the end of the matter.
Today, even a simple SMS sent to anyone is not 100% private. A copy of that message is stored and can be retrieved should the law demand it. Or should some evil twisted fella who happens to work in the right department of your network operator decide to play around.
No email is 100% private. Once sent, it can be retrieved or intercepted.
On the mobile scene, we are in the age of the cloud. Cloud technology started years ago with the concept of synchronising contacts and calendars. Of course, this means that details of all your contacts and your schedule are stored on someone’s servers and can be hacked or intercepted by a nutcase.
Now, it is the norm to synchronise our notes, emails, contacts, schedules, pictures, videos. We also publish tons of personal info daily on social networks. A service like Foursquare is based on you actually letting people know where you are. Many months back, an acquaintance then sent me a BBM message but had inadvertently enabled the location feature. Presto, in a moment, I had her exact home address. At that time, we hadn’t met yet, and we had no such intentions. See how things can easilly go wrong?
With Google Now, our phones can track where we live and where we go daily to create a pattern with which to give us directions and daily tips. Do you get the picture? You shall not escape – unless you refuse to use all these new technologies. Google Now and Siri (and others like both of them) are the beginning of artificial intelligence – and its all happening on mobile.
What you like, what you buy, where you go, what you do and who you know will all no longer be private. Big Brother knows.
There are simple measures you can take to attempt to stay safe from prying eyes, but honestly, I am not sure how much good they will do in the greater picture in terms of privacy.
How will it all play out? Who knows? We might some day have to deal with one of those Armageddon-style sci-fi story lines. Whatever. In the meantime, I am off to enjoy as many of these new technologies as I can. What the… anyway!
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with HDML/WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.