mobile devices, like iPhone, keep a running record of where we’ve been. The data wasn't just comprehensive and detailed; it was unencrypted and copied to every machine you synced with.
Carrier IQ didn’t just track location, it also tracked dropped calls and every single click and keystroke made by the owner.
As the 2011 holiday shopping season approached, American consumers were surprised to learn Forest City Commercial Management, an operator of shopping malls, had deployed FootPath to track shoppers in California and Virginia. To map our movements, FootPath relies on a carefully placed array of listening posts to track mobile devices as they wander around a building. By triangulating the beacons sent by our phones to nearby cell towers, our location can be pinpointed with an accuracy of ‘a few meters’ (the company doesn't publicly specify beyond that), enough to know how you move from store to store, your ‘dwell time’ spent inside, the sequence of shops visited, an even movements between sections inside late department stores. FootPath probably gets paid on both sides- it can sell the demographics to retailers, as well as to mall operators who can use it to negotiate higher rents. Other than a sigh at the mall entrance inviting shoppers to opt out by turning off their phones, the system is invisible, passive, and undetectable. Google and Nokia are also working on their own indoor positioning systems, and wireless chip manufacturer Broadcom is building features to support it in its products.
In 2002, AT&T alone received over 260,000 requests for subscriber location data from American law enforcement organizations in 2011, compared to just over 125,000 in 2007.
the widened cell surveillance cut across all levels of government- from run-out-of-the-mill street crimes handled by local police departments to financial crimes and intelligence investigations at the state of federal levels
In many parts of the world, mass urban surveillance is overt and often welcomes. In recent years Chinese authorities have implemented two of the largest urban surveillance projects ever attempted. In November 2010, without public objection, the city of Chongqing launched an effort, inauspiciously dubbed ‘peaceful Chongqing,’ to install some five hundred thousand video cameras that will soon watch every street corner and plaza in the giant metropolis, keep an eye on 6 million people. It will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders- every phone conversation, electronic messages, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner
In the european Union, for instance, strong legal protections for the privacy of personal information draw clear lines (for companies at least) on how data can be collected, stored, and reused. In much of urban Asia, historically speaking, privacy is a new luxury.
Mass surveillance, designed to protect smart cities, may actually put their residents at great risks. Theft of personal data is now endemic and epic in scale- just a single breach of security in April 2011 led to the theft of over 75 million user records from the Sony PlayStation Network, an online community for computer games.
you should worry that our phone is secretly invading your privacy: Between the manufacture, the carrier, the O.S maker, and all the other hands that touched tour phone, there are more than enough opportunities to add software that overreaches, either benignly or with some malicious purpose.
In our rush to build smart cities on a foundation of technologies for sensing and control of the world around us, should we be at all surprised when they are turned around to control us?