Monday, March 27, 2006

Mobile phones, ID Cards through the back door?

26/03/06

I used to be a keen mobile phone user and carried one for 2 or 3 years ending up with one which I thought I liked (internet access etc) until the day came when I managed to lose it in a boozer one night.

Once the initial annoyance had worn off, I found that I was suddenly free from the (previously unrealized) stress of being permanently accessible and ‘on call’ as it were; ‘24/7’ to anyone who wanted to call and had my number.

I hadn’t realized just how intrusive and annoying I had found this until I was ‘Off the radar’ and inaccessible, I now revel in my newfound anonymity and freedom, I know it’s a nuisance not being able to phone whenever and whoever you want to but I’ve got a landline and answering machine so I won’t miss anything really important.

I suppose it’s pretty antisocial; but I value my space, I live alone (out of choice I like to think) and I love to have visitors, but I need to spend at least some part of everyday on my own.

Realizing that the phone can also act as a rather efficient tracking device; pinpointing my position at anytime, was also another reason for being happier without it.

And then learning about this made me start thinking seriously about the potential of mobile devices; and all the things that they could be capable of doing, which we wouldn’t necessarily know about!

with the computing power of these handheld devices increasing all the time, it means that they could easily be capable of storing all kinds of information about us (information that is easily gleaned now that “Convergence” means that we surf the web, access our banks and do all our e-mail and phone business with them) ‘Google’s battle with the US government over information gathered from customers searches online demonstrates clearly that they are thinking this way. Also don’t forget the story which ‘Microsoft’ furiously denies, that the British government are asking Microsoft to install a backdoor into their new ‘Vista’ operating system, to enable them to access encrypted data etc.

Why would the government need to issue us all with the unpopular ID cards, when we could all be easily identified and tracked by the ‘Spy in our pockets’?

of course when you link this to the literarly thousands of CCTV's watching our every move

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