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GPS and Privacy

Posted on November 22, 2004 in Geocaching Privacy

square206.gifThere’s been a schizoid conversation going on in two articles threads at the Southern California geocachers forums regarding the use of GPSes as tracking devices. In one thread, people were gushing over a new system whereby you can zero in on exactly where you are using cell phone tracking. The problem is that, unlike standard GPS, you broadcast your whereabouts to the private companies that run our phone networks, information that they can then sell to other concerns who might be interested in your habits for marketing reasons and, of course, give to the government as part of their patriotic duty. What’s more, you pay them to do this.

In another thread, some of the same people are shocked that Oregon plans to require the installation of GPSes in cars so that they can collect road miles travelled taxes. The problem is that with more fuel efficient cars, there are less gas taxes collected. Oregon needs to keep these roads paved, right? BUT IT IS THE GOVERNMENT DOING THIS AND THAT’S JUST GOT TO BE BAD! ALWAYS!

See what I mean? They will happily and involuntarily hand over their privacy to a private corporation which, for no greater good than to maximize the profits of a wealthy few, keeps tabs on their every move via cell phones but pay for the roads they travel based on usage — never!

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