A place to sit a while -- learn and share -- as you navigate through life to your eternal home in Heaven.
Friday, October 19, 2012
What your cell phone says about you
Cell phones. Smart phones. It’s hard to remember the days—a few years ago, really—when we fumbled through our busy lives without phones equipped with alarms and calendars and global positioning devices. They do so much for us. They say a lot about us too. I recently read about a guy at MIT who gave out 100 free mobile phones for a PhD project and then charted them over the next few months to examine how they were used and what the data revealed about the users. He did not listen to the calls. He only wanted the numbers, duration, time of day and location of calls.
You probably know your cell phone works off towers and those signals ping off of other towers at an alarming speed as we move around the planet. You can’t go anywhere with your phone on that can’t be tracked later by an enterprising investigator. We seldom think about the information our cell phones record. By the end of the MIT study, the data revealed what time the phone users woke in the mornings, where they worked, where they shopped, what they bought, their best friends, vacation destination, favorite restaurants and hobbies.
That made me wonder—coz I’m a writer and we wonder about stuff the rest of the world doesn’t care about—what would happen if I became the focus of a criminal investigation. What would my phone say about me? What would authorities discover that might help build a case against me?
Here are my top three.
1. I spend a lot of time on the highway between Pike, Jackson, and Meigs Counties in southeast Ohio. Lots of places to dispose of evidence on those windy, hilly back roads and byways, btw.
2. I use that time to catch up on phone calls, mostly to my mother.
3. I never forward friends’ emails, even if said emails guarantee untold wealth and worldwide fame, and I delete the same friends’ pics of their grandkids without even looking at them.
Now it’s your turn. What three things would your phone reveal should you turn to a life of crime?