Global Now / Week 4

Consumer Tracking (this connects with the two previous posts)

Paula Wolf

Section: Cope

 

Global Now: Abstract

Headline:  Clever or creepy?

Date:  1/5/2012

Source:  The Telegraph

Abstract:

Path Intelligence’s “phone tracking,” a technology that has been utilized in U.S. shopping malls since 2011 has now crossed the globe to Britain.  This technology utilizes data from people’s mobile phones to monitor consumer’s movements and track trends.  Controversy has risen in areas where tracking has gone on without gaining the permission of customers.  The only way to avoid being tracked is to turn off your phone.  To me this ploy is rather frustrating.  It is easy to refrain from using Facebook or Twitter.  One may easily protect one’s privacy by choosing what to post, but how do you live in this day and age without having a cell phone?  Cell phones are now a primary way of communication; people want to be accessible at all times. It is simply unfair to ask people to turn off their phones if they don’t want to be tracked for a company’s gain.  The article states that the company has no access to personal information, but how many clicks or codes does it take for a hacker to gain entry?  This system seems like a stepping-stone.  We need to be wary of technology that tracks our movements without our knowledge.  There needs to be a balance between convenient access to data and the right to move and speak freely.

Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/8993620/Big-Brother-technology-tracks-shoppers-mobile-phones.html

Global Issue:  surveillance

Primary Design Lens:  market research

Secondary Design Lens:  product design

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