Friday, November 11, 2005
Big Brother Or Big Technology Leap?
I like the idea of using a cellphones GPS signal for improving traffic flow, but I think this is a little too Big Brother'ish.
From International Herald Tribune Tracking phones for traffic reports
Several state transportation agencies, including those in Maryland and Virginia, are beginning to test technology that allows them to monitor traffic by tracking cellphone signals and mapping them against road grids.
The technology highlights how readily cellphones can become tracking devices for companies or government agencies - a development that troubles privacy advocates.
Is traffic the ONLY thing this data can be used for? Could your location ever be used in a court of law?
What if you had an SUV with 8 people, or a fleet of buses with their cellphones on, does this skew the data?
The phones need only be turned on, not in use. And sophisticated software now makes it possible to discern whether a signal is coming from, say, a moving car or a pedestrian.
By providing a constantly updated picture of traffic flow across thousands of miles of highways, they argue, cellphone tracking can help transportation agencies spot congestion and divert drivers by issuing alerts by radio or on electronic road signs.
Scott Peterson may have some thoughts on this.
The guy that makes a device that blocks your GPS signal will make a fortune.