Every single day people use their cell phones for business and/or personal reasons. They use smart phones to check emails, post updates on social networking sites like Facebook, exchange picture/video messages and of course to make and receive phone calls. However, it is another thing that cell phones such as the iPhone by Apple and Droid phones using Google's Operating Systems that has enraged many cellular phone users. What it is that has sparked such an uproar is the gathering and storing of personal location-based data via GPS tracking technology by the sophisticated operating systems of the cell phones.
"I think the reason why so many people are upset about their cell phones recording personal GPS positions is because the data does not discriminate", explained a expert on GPS tracking technology for a Southern California fleet management company. "The main problem police agencies have when using GPS tracking systems and other vehicle tracking surveillance to gather evidence against suspects is that in many states they must first obtain a warrant, and second that the tracking can only be done for a short duration of time. As one judge from the Seventh Circuit of Appeals put it, so the "twists and turns of [a person's] life" are not recorded. By a person's cell phone tracking daily and nightly movements essentially 24/7, an assortment of private data such as if an individual went to a Catholic church or a gay club is all gathered and recorded for likely some form of future marketing purposes".
How upset are some mobile device users?
Some users of the popular iPhone and Droid devices are so upset that their cellular phones have been storing personal location data that they have filed lawsuits over the issue, stating a direct violation of privacy because the phones are "secretly recording and storing comprehensive details of their owner's movements". A full text document about a class-action lawsuit brought up by the plaintiffs Julie Brown and Kayla Molaski against Google has continued to get the sensitive topic in the news, as they state Google knowingly and actively record data without consent secretly.
Many cell phone users are happy to provide certain personal location-based data, for example when they use the Google Maps app to gather directions, or Around Me app to find a local restaurant. However, when a person activates those apps they feel like they are voluntarily submitting their personal GPS location for a purpose. There is a level of consent that is acceptable and fair from the user's perspective. This is completely different than when a cellular device and operating system transmit GPS tracking location data to an outside company on their own without the user's consent 24/7.
Are you okay with your cell phone letting outside parties know everywhere you go and everything you do?
Should Federal law be created stating cell phone companies, manufacturers and operating systems cannot use GPS tracker technology to store and record location data without consent every time the data is transmitted?