Far Beyond the Concept of Security by Katarína Koreňová

01/12/2010 17:10

If you want to get lost without a trace it can be a problem.

Try it first with such a small thing as your mobile phone. It won’t work. Let me tell you why.

The Internet won’t let you lose your phone; the new science-magic is called mobile tracking service. In order that it may work, you have to subscribe to a service, which will cost you only “some” 19 dollars a month, depending on the provider. I believe that although nowadays the whole business centers around searching for lost mobiles, it really has more to do with tracking down people. The providers of the service still claim that you have to get the person’s permission to track him or her down, but most of these regulations are just minor cosmetic adjustments. The Internet has become an eye that really sees you everywhere you go. And it has as many possible implications to it as you can imagine. Beginning with information abuse, loss of security, and if we let loose our paranoia, there is even a possibility of an authoritarian type of government to take absolute control of our lives.

Mobile phone tracking was launched in Great Britain and should now be available in many countries in Europe, including Slovakia. Sometimes you don’t even have to use the Internet. You just need the phone to be switched on and the accuracy of tracking your whereabouts is up to 50-100 meters. Find your children, spy on your employees, keep your spouse in sight, and track down a criminal.

Now, how does it work? 

I’ll give you an example from real life.

I have a friend, who often travels to England. She gets off a plane at London Stansted and heads off to meet her duties. Traveling itself is chaos and when you’re happy that the plane landed safely despite the English weather, you can even lose your phone. The friend of mine left hers in the plane’s cabin. When she found out, she didn’t hesitate for a minute, logged in to her mobile tracking account, and tracked down her phone. 

The clever spy software announced to her that without doubt her phone was still at the airport.

The message was passed on to the Stansted police and they found out that the phone was being kept very busy by one of the stewards from her flight who had found it.  My friend immediately recovered her phone and, according to her words, the steward was taken in custody for a few hours.

An advertisement might read, “The mobile tracking service helps prevent crime.”

I have pondered over the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet, the possible side-effects that may now seem harmless, all things that are making our lives more comfortable, but at the same time are slowly depriving us of our privacy and freedom, which we will not fully realize until the moment the machinery closes itself, the process is finished and we find ourselves really entrapped. Maybe I am paranoid or hallucinating, but I think that we might be only a step away from the next dictatorship regime, with one of the most powerful means of control. The Internet. We could even assume that in the years to come, privacy will be a rare commodity, if not a non-existent one. What will happen next is a question for the government which will rise to power.   


In one of the clever advertisements we are told that the mobile phone tracking  “is far beyond just the concept of security…” Well, it undoubtedly is.

Let's see what happens next.   


text and photo :Katarína Koreňová