Since I have launched myself into the blogosphere i have become aware of the concept of pinging. It’s an information technology term that refers to the unseen method used by search engines to identify and enlist a website in their directories. It reminds me of the method also used by whales and submarines to to determine the distance of an object from their present locations.

Anyway, while bringing myself up to date a few weeks ago about the apparent hacking into the telephone conversations by the media houses owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his son James, I came across an interesting article. I am quoting a part of it below:

“Mobile phone networks have the ability to locate their customers handsets.At a basic level, they can determine which cell the phone is using. In a city, that might narrow-down the location to a few hundred metres. In the countryside it could be several kilometres.It is also possible to triangulate the position of a phone more precisely using its relative position to several masts.Additionally, many modern phones contain GPS technology to help determine their exact longitude and latitude.Mobile operators are reluctant to discuss exactly what level of detail they are able to provide to law enforcement, although there are examples of police tracking criminals, accident victims and missing persons by their mobile phones.”

Talk about food for thought, eh?  Well I am smiling from relief because I am not a user of a mobile phone at the present moment. But all mobile users must be aware of the implications of the above quoted statements. Yes, some of the effects may very well be good; nevertheless, human history teaches quite well that wherever something is created for a good purpose  it will not be too long before somebody else finds some less than good use for that same creation. The case of the dynamite is a classic example.

Not too long ago the World Health Organization issued the first warning of its kind, alerting the human population that use of the mobile phones right next to your ear is a cancer hazard similar to that of being exposed to radiation from an X-ray or photocopier, for example.

Now, we are being told that our mobile phones are not so private after all. And this is not really strange now that I think of it. If you are familiar with the Internet you will know how easy it is for your use of it to be tracked. And I think that is a fundamental principle that the manufacturers of all modern technology are incorporating in their products. They are subtly able to infiltrate your space and you are non the wiser.

As the consuming public, though, what will our response be? Are  we going to be concerned about whether or not an uninvited party may be listening in to our private conversations? Should we know what that eavesdropping information is used for? Should we hold our governments accountable if our domestic privacy is breached? Or, do we think that we may be just a small country and cannot be bothered?

Hmmm. I will love to hear your feedback on these thought provoking issues.

via BBC News – Mobile pinging claim raises legal questions.