Younger Daughter, attempting with frustration to get her phone issues straightened out before her first deployment -- and knowing my general hostility toward smart phones in general -- sent a link to this comical Saturday Night Live sketch:
This sketch -- ending with the words "It's an old person's nightmare" -- puts me firmly in the camp of a crotchety fuddy-duddy who can't handle the latest technology.
I don't know about the "crotchety" part, but I'm unquestionably a fuddy-duddy loathe to embrace anything technological (my preferred description is "Luddite"). But once in a while my concerns about smart phones are justified.
Consider this article, profiled this morning on Drudge: Your apps know where you were last night, and they’re not keeping it secret.
Your smart little smart phone, it turns out, is pinging your location every two seconds. It maps your every move, your every stop, your every clandestine trip to Planned Parenthood or the apartment of the hunky guy down the hall. The apps doing this tracking then sell the information without the knowledge of the owner.
"As smartphones have become ubiquitous and technology more accurate, an industry of snooping on people’s daily habits has spread and grown more intrusive," notes the article. "At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services to get local news and weather or other information. ... The database ... reveals people’s travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day."
The article continues: "Businesses say their interest is in the patterns, not the identities, that the data reveals about consumers. They note that the information apps collect is tied not to someone’s name or phone number but to a unique ID. But those with access to the raw data — including employees or clients — could still identify a person without consent. They could follow someone they knew, by pinpointing a phone that regularly spent time at that person’s home address. Or, working in reverse, they could attach a name to an anonymous dot, by seeing where the device spent nights and using public records to figure out who lived there."
Does anyone else find this just plain creepy?
In dystopian literature, the future is dire because everyone is microchipped and monitored 24/7. But the future, it seems, is here. It seems smart phones are just as invasive as those under-the-skin chips.
Both our girls have smart phones, and I'll admit it fills me with concern. Fuddy-duddy that I am, I just don't like or trust the durn things.
Turns out I may have a very good reason for my hostility.