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Our prying phone nightmare

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“Data privacy” is one of the terms that feels like you’ve removed all your emotions. It’s like flat soda. At least until America’s failure to build even basic data privacy protection has physical implications.

This week, Chief Executive Officer of the American Catholic Church Resignation After the news site said it Had data from his cell phone This seems to indicate that admins use LGBTQ dating app Grindr and go to gay bars on a regular basis. For three years, journalists have been able to access data on his cell phone movements and digital trails and follow where he went.

I know people will have mixed feelings about this issue. Some may find it acceptable to use the means necessary to determine when a public figure is breaking a promise, even if he is a priest who may have broken his bachelor’s vow. ..

But for me, this is not about a man. This is about a structural failure that allows real-time data on American movements to exist in the first place and be used without our knowledge and true consent. This case demonstrates the concrete consequences of practices by the vast and largely unregulated data collection industry in the United States.

The reality of the United States is that there are few legal or other restrictions that prevent businesses from editing the exact location of where we walk around and selling that information to anyone. This data is in the hands of the companies we handle on a daily basis, such as Facebook and Google, and the mediators of employment information that we don’t interact with directly.

This data is often packaged together and Theoretically anonymous, But it In many cases it can be traced back to the individual, As the official Catholic story shows.In fact, the existence of such a huge amount of this data Everyone Create conditions of misuse that can affect The same is true for evil and noble people...

The Internal Revenue Service Purchased commercial location data from people’s mobile phones Searching for financial criminals (obviously inefficient).We Defense contractors and military agencies I got location data from an app that people use to pray and hang their shelves. The stalker found the target Get information about a person’s whereabouts from a mobile operator.When Americans go Rally Or protest, Political campaigns buy information about participants to target them in messages.

I am resentful that there is no federal law yet to limit the collection or use of location data. If I had made a technical to-do list for Congress, such restrictions would be at the top of my agenda. (I have some Congressional proposal On hold Status A law that limits aspects of the collection or use of personal location data. )

Most Americans now understand that our phone is tracking our movements, even if we don’t necessarily know all the nasty details. And I know how easy it is to feel an angry resignation or just think “So what?” I would like to resist both of those reactions.

Despair doesn’t help anyone, but I often feel that way. Losing control of the data was inevitable. It was a choice. Rather, individuals, governments, and businesses have failed to think about the consequences of the digital age for years. You can now choose a different path.

And even if you believe that you and your family have nothing to hide, many will feel uneasy if someone follows their teenager or spouse wherever they go. I think. What we have now is probably worse. Potentially thousands of times a day, our phone reports our location, and we really can’t stop them. (Still here Steps we can take To relieve hell. )

New York Times Editorial Board I have written In 2019, if the US government orders Americans to provide constant information about their location, the public and members of the House of Representatives will probably revolt. However, over time, we have collectively and implicitly agreed to voluntarily hand over this data.

You can benefit from this location collection system, such as real-time transportation apps and nearby stores that send coupons. But in return, we don’t have to accept the lasting and increasingly invasive surveillance of our movements.


Our prying phone nightmare

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