This past week, Sen. Al Franken wanted answers! The target of his ire was the Apple iPhone and its ability to track users by location. Millions of Americans were horrified (horrified!) and went running through the streets screaming in fear at the concept that Big Brother could see exactly where you are and potentially lock you up in one of those secret Federal deportation facilities in the Midwest…
These were typical of the news coverage that Sen Franken generated:
- Study: iPhone Keeps Tracking Data, by Jennifer Valentino-Devries. April 21, 2011. The Wall Street Journal
- Government officials want answers to secret iPhone tracking, by Helen A.S. Popkin. April 21, 2011, MSNBC Technolog.
In reality, Apple should be no more a victim of this outcry than any other technology company or service provider that enables location-based services in their offerings. Consumers – particularly users of social media – take location-based services for granted. It’s how they find friends, family, communities of interest, restauants and (OMG!) marketers use this information!
Here is a more rational analysis. Some may still find it scary, but it’s how the world works today, folks.
- Building Bridges with Location Services, by Victor Harrison, published in LBx Journal
Shelly Palmer had this to say about it…
Shelly asks the right question (paraphrasing here): “As a society, are we willing to give up our privacy?” – to which he answers (correctly and paraphrasing again): “The cat is already out of the bag.”