Free Essay

Location Privacy

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By camillia88
Words 998
Pages 4
Kamelya Teague
Ersin Soylu
English 101-120
October 10, 2013 Privacy on Current Technological Devices “Location Privacy: Who Protects?” written by Caitlin D. Cottril is an objective educational essay published in URISA Journal’s 2011 Edition. A conference held on April of 2011 directed by Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden showed that some technological devices such as the Apple iPhone and the 3G iPad had the capability of saving user’s locations to a hidden file. This file called “Locationgate”, led to more research on other mobile telephones and “apps”, and conceded that an impressive amount of data regarding the location of user’s was being gathered and saved. (Cottrill, 1) This information is significant because it shows that mobile phone user’s location is being collected onto the spatial environment and therefore is no longer safe. In this essay the author informs her readers that people may watch them through their usage of technological gadgets, however, there are some methods, such as laws and legal issues, that protect people from violations of location privacy. The author’s arguments on the accessibility of user’s location, and the regulations about location privacy, and the method’s users can impliment in order to keep their personal information safe are all strong arguments supported by reliable examples, quotations, explanations, and factual data. “The author claims that apps can trace into people’s web habits, track their location, and examine their files. In addition, it is also stated that apps can gather a person’s phone number and unique ID number.” (Cottrill, 2) This shows that applications on technological devices can access personal information which makes personal information no longer private as most users expect it to be. This information can be accessed by apps through the usage of the unique phone ID’s at any given time. The author supports her claim by giving real life examples of how Google Street View and Twitter’s Geo API have the ability to do so. Google Street View is able to create a visual representation of a person’s geographical location, and Twitter’s GeoAPI allows a person’s current location to be displayed. This argument is a strong argument because it is supported by real examples of how apps can track people’s web habits, location, files, phone number, and unique ID number. Similar to the previous argument, the argument about regulations that protect people’s privacy is also strong. The author claims that “there are some privacy policies that protect user’s rights” (Cottrill, 5), and supports her claim by writing about the privacy policy in the United States of America. The author refers to Title 13 of the Federal Code in the US Census. Under the section titled “Protection of Confidential Information”, regulations concerning issues of privacy in regard to the Census Bureau show how information regarding citizen data will be protected and kept confidential. “The Census Bureau claims that they use various approaches to protect the US citizen’s personal information including computer technologies, statistical methodologies, and security procedures to protect personal information such as names, telephone numbers, addresses.” (Cottrill, 5) The Census Bureau explains that only a limited amount of people have access to this private information, and that violating these rules strict penalties that include prison or a fine up to $250,000. The regulations written about the Census Bureau support the author’s argument that there are, in fact, rules concerning privacy policy, and restrictions that enable privacy policy. Similar to the previous two arguments the argument about what users can do to ensure that their location is secure is also a strong argument. The author claims that there are three things that a person can do to ensure that his or her personal information is private. This means that users can actually do something about their information being secure. These three things are (1) reading application’s privacy policies, (2) not using application’s that do not have privacy policies, and (3) using strong passwords. (Cottrill, 6) Firstly, it is important to read privacy policies to beware of the information that the application may access. Secondly, it is important to not use applications that do not have a privacy policy because one can never know what the application can do with his or her information. Thirdly, it is important to use a strong password in order to prevent other users, or “other bruce methods” (Cottrill, 6) such as computer system’s from discovering one’s passsword. The author further explains the last method by giving an example of how people on Facebook or Foursquare can establish complicated passwords which would disable other users from being able to hack into their account. This argument is strong as well because it claims three ways that users of technological devices can further keep his or her personal information more secure and all three of the ways support Cottrill’s topic sentence. In conclusion, Cottril’s main aim in writing this essay is to make people aware that their location privacy may not be safe, and to inform them that there are some methods that are trying to protect location privacy. All of the author’s arguments on the accessibility of user’s location, and the regulations about location privacy, and the method’s users can implement in order to keep their personal information safe are all strong arguments. Apps are able to access personal information through people’s useage of technological devices. As stated in the US Constitution, there are some regulations that that try to protect users’ rights. There are also things that users can do such as reading privacy policies, not using application’s that do not have privacy policies, and using strong passwords. It is believed that Cottril has achieved her purpose in this essay by making strong arguments supported by examples, explanations, quotations, and factual data. As a great American author, Marshall McLuhan, once said, “Publication is an invasion of privacy”. This quote may be translated to its modern definition of, “As long as we continue to publish things on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, we will continue to let others invade our privacy!
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