The idea of companies keeping tabs on us through technology is something that up until a few years ago was reserved solely for conspiracy theorists and science fiction writers. Thoughts that our computers were filming everything we were doing, that vending machines were actually Chinese spy bots, or that our locations were constantly being monitored through log-ins were only found in pulp magazines and survivalist field guides. Today, however, some of these once thought to be fantasies are now a reality. But is it really a cause for alarm? Surely, the thought of constantly being watched brings up comparisons to Orwell's 1984 society, but that is an extreme. By hooking up to the internet we waive our right to determine what is kept private and public, since the whole point of the internet is data storage and transfer, anything on there is viewable by someone be it a person or a company. The only thing we can control is whether or not the people who we interact with in the real world can view what we do.
Looking at the information presented in the article specifically, I wouldn't say that it is much as of a cause for concern as the article makes it out to be. It may seem scary at first that the map presented in the article shows the locations of iPhone's, but take a look at the actual information. The program that checks for locations wasn't actually looking for anyone on regular intervals. It wasn't actually looking for people at all.
[...] The map is a result of the information gathered. It is easy to take something so innocent and twist it into something conspiratorial. Besides, as they say, “there is no evidence to suggest that this data is leaving your custody” (Allen, 2011). This means that no one is getting access to your information even though it is in fact stored somewhere. Besides, information like this has been stored for years by cellphone companies and was only available by court order, which means that no one had access to it either (Allen, 2011). [...]
[...] When you find that a friend posts a message you sent them privately because they thought it was funny then you'll feel worse because your information wasn't used in the way you thought it would be. The main factor that determines your level of comfort, what you deem standard in terms of your expectations of privacy, is knowing whether or not your information is being accessed solely by the people who have your permission. References Allen, A. (2011, April 20). Got an iPhone or 3G iPad? Apple is recording your moves. Blog posting. Solove, D. (2011, May 15). Why privacy matters even if you have ‘nothing to hide.' The Chronicle of Higher Education Review. [...]
using our reader.