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Essay about Privacy in the Cellular World

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Privacy in the Cellular World

Does technology such as GPS violate the privacy of cell phone users?
"Law enforcement is right that this technology may help track kidknappers, but this is also going to help the kidknappers stalk their victims" (1)
--James X. Dempsey, senior staff counsel at the Center for Democracy and technology



Cellular telephones, long associated with untethered freedom, are becoming silent leashes, as cellular companies have been mandated by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to adopt and install location finding equipment into their designs. This potentially enables a whole host of members of soceity to track one's whereabouts: the police, ambulance dispatchers, advertisers or marketers, worried parents, and jealous spouses. In many cases, the new technology is being defended as public safety insurance for people making emergency 911 calls. However, the ability of this technology offers for law enforcement officials or just plain snoops to continusously monitor a caller's position and movement in detail--even months after the call was made--is drawing fire from privacy advocates and civil libertarians.

Most of us probably remember playing hide-and-seek as a kid. There seemed to be so many places where we could seek and never be found. Today finding a place where you can't be seen is becoming increasingly difficult. Surveillance technology of varoius forms seem to watch our every move. Now, cell phones are being augmented by new tracking technology that will detect our wireless cell phones, too. Cell phones will operate using Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and loval, land-based networks, these new systems will use wireless radio signals to find you wherever you are. As of Oct...


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3. Harris, Dan. "Lifesaver, or Big Brother? 911 Tracking System Raises Privacy Concerns"
abcnews.com http://more.abc.news.go.com/sections/wnt/DailyNews/wnt010313_e911.html

Other Sources

Charny, Ben. "Guess who's tracking you by cell phone?" ZDNet News http://zdnetnews.com/2100-1105-846959.html 27 February 2002.

Crouch, Cameron. "Will Big Brother Track You by Cell Phone?" PC World September 2001: 34.

"How Location Tracking Will Work." Howstuffwors.com http://howstuffworks.com/location-tracking.html. 17 April 1999.

Marney, Kevin. "Cell phones could go beyond the call of duty." USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/ccarch/cckev042.htm August 23 2000.

Nelson, Matthew. "Reaching Too Far?" Information Week 20 August 2001: 20-22.

Wayner, Peter. "Technology that Tracks Cell Phones Draws Fire." The New York Times 23 February 1998: D3.


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