When it comes to technology today, there is barely any distance between outrageous privacy violation and cool new feature. When news broke yesterday that Apple has been secretly spying on iPhone users, many people immediately broadcasted the illicit data to everyone.
The latest privacy fracas comes courtesy of two researchers who found that iPhones secretly track users' location and store a record of it in a file hidden on their phones and computers. They made a program that creates a startlingly-detailed map of a users' location for months based on the data. Sen. Al Franken has since written a letter to Steve Jobs about how the tracking could help "criminals and bad actors," and the FCC reports they're looking into it. Only a matter of time before the class action lawsuit.
Holy crap, Apple has been secretly logging our every move for months? Let's... broadcast it to everyone on the internet! Many techies are now showing off their iSpy maps: "I find myself fascinated staring at this automatically generated record of where I've been," wrote tech blogger Alexis Madrigal. Tumblr and Twitter are full of them. "I don't get out of West LA enough," user aboycommemoi observed.
Apple should absolutely not secretly track iPhone users and store a record on their computer. What a waste: Nobody can even see it! Apple should openly track iPhone users and let them automatically post their maps to the internet. Give it a catchy Applesque name, like Self-SurveillanceTime. If Apple really wants to know where I am at every second of the day, they'll have to get it from Twitter just like everyone else.