As the famous 80s one hit wonder Rockwell once sang, “I always feel like somebody’s watching me…and I have no privacy!” In this age of intense technological advancement, we are all connected all the time. As we overshare on social media, snapping photos of our dinner or taking workout selfies, we are choosing to stay connected to our networks. But what if we were inadvertently sharing all the time without even knowing it? Well, if you have an iPhone, this is already happening.
Buried deep within our privacy settings, there’s a function labeled Frequent Locations. This nifty little feature is the ultimate creepy stalker. It tells you every place you’ve visited and how much time you spent there. It’s a map-guided tour of your whereabouts including trips to your home. I had no idea this feature existed until last week.
I consider myself a pretty tech savvy guy, and normally the tech nerd in me would think this is cool. But my gut tells me not to get excited about this “enhancement”. If someone were to hack my phone, they could actually really stalk me because they would know my patterns. They would know where I live, where I like to eat, where I work, etc. I’m not comfortable with any stranger knowing this info. And quite frankly, I’m not interested in my phone knowing it either.
I just don’t get the point of why this exists. In a sense, it feels like my adult autonomy is being taken away because something or someone is watching, calculating, and documenting my every move. Am I really a free citizen if my technology is keeping tabs on me? Am I at risk day in and day out of some major cyber security threat because of all the info being tracked in my device? What’s happening to all this data on the back end?
It’s scary to think about. All these times when I thought I was disconnecting, shutting down, and taking time away from social media, I was still connected in other ways. What else am I still connected to that I don’t know about?
Technological advancements are great, and I’m a huge proponent of them. But I believe there still needs to be some separation between us and our devices. We still need the freedom to live our lives tech-free. We all reserve the right to go off the grid even if that’s just as simple as disabling the frequent locations option on our iPhones. I’m stopping the iPhone stalking and going off the Apple grid. Maybe you will too?