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Stealing Cell Phone Data

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Stealing Data From Smartphones

cellular_phoneCellular phones have truly evolved into computing systems capable of doing a million things other than simply placing a call. People everywhere now use smart phones such as the Driod, Blackberry or iPhone to conduct numerous personal or professional tasks. Smart phones are now our alarm clocks, avenue to browse the Internet, tool to perform online banking, route to shop online, place to play video games, and so much more. Throw in social networking, text messaging and picture taking and it is easy to see why anywhere you go people have their phones glued to their hands. Wireless companies understand the role that cellular phones play in most Americans lives, and that is why they have developed ways to gather specific information about the mobile user through GPS tracking.

GPS tracker chips were required to be engineered into all cellular communication devices as a way to fight terrorism post 9/11. Although this mandate alone is a topic that raises many red flags about infringement of personal freedoms, it is probably best to stick on topic. Basically, while people on mobile phones are checking their Facebook status’, sending twitter posts or uploading photos to Instagram, their phones are actually documenting personal information about the user specific to locational data. That means through the use of tracker device technology, mobile phones are recording all of the places a person visits! Not only is this information collected by wireless companies, but it is also sold to outside agencies for a profit!

“When people use their cell phones they don’t even realize everything that the mobile communication device is doing, and how the phone is actually working for wireless companies to essentially steal your data”, explained a technology expert at Tracking System Direct. “The worst part of everything is that when a person signs a contract with a cellular provider they probably have no idea that they are basically giving that wireless company the authority to monitor their activity and sell that information to outside companies. At the very least, the mobile user should be the person selling their data for profit, not the wireless provider.”

Target Marketing

Anyone who has ever changed their relationship status on Facebook probably has noticed the way ads on the side bar change. When a person is single, the side bar ads promote dating sites. When a person is engaged, the side bar ads promote wedding photography sites, and when a person is married, the side bar ads promote weight loss sites. This is basically the social media website using your data for the purposes of target marketing. Almost every large online company that a person shares their data with does this, including Google. Basically, this seems like it would be the reason why wireless companies would want to store personal information through the process of GPS tracking and other wireless activity.

Unfortunately, the trend of taking personal data will only continue as people continue to join online communities and share information.

Do you believe it is an acceptable practice for wireless companies to record locational information of customers using tracker device technology, and sell that data to third parties?

Should lawmakers draft legislation regarding personal content and data privacy?