Last week a lot of people were shocked to find out that mostly everything your doing on your smartphone is being tracked by a piece of software called Carrier IQ. I can say that once I found out about this I was neither shocked or angry although I promptly found a way to remove it from my Android device. I can merely say that I was surprised that this software wasn’t hidden better. I have come to realize that people seem to equate status with their devices and feel connected them in a way I feel that humans have never before personified objects. A hunter and his weapon are different than a hipster and his iphone yet through the social interactions we have through our devices and the feelings associated with those interactions have created an unnatural bond with some. As we sign up, check in, tweet, like, +1, search, surf the web, drive w/ OnStar, gmail, bb message, im, skype, tag, tumble or do anything with a fairly modern device we are being tracked. A plethora of information is being generated about our spending habits, social interactions, events we attend, places we go, web habits, etc.
Soon enough we will all be carrying around enough processing power to handle individual tasks related to creating, reading, updating, deleting and querying our own information in the form of a smartphone. A smartphone that will one day open your car door, adjust your seat if needed, and start the radio on your favorite Pandora station. You will make purchases with it and never worry about losing out on reward points. Soon there will be networks that are faster than 4g with four times the battery life. Humans have a natural tendency to trade up luxury for a little less privacy sorta like a evolutionary remnant of safety in numbers.
If we didn’t have open devices like the Android platform how long would have Carrier IQ existed unnoticed? If detected would you even have an option to remove it? The infrastructure for most of the advanced technology we use is not created by the end user. Although the software may not be as well there are always coders. Ultimately the battle for privacy has fallen solely into the hands of the coder/hacker/programmer. They are the ones who can expose breaches, leak information, and ultimately secure it up to a point as security procedures followed by the end user create a circumstance that any programmer has no control over. So I would remind those who are concerned to be very mindful of your privacy.