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Friday, August 19, 2022

Staff Editorial

Tracker app proves privacy does not exist

SMS Services O.o.o. published an app several months ago called “Girls around me”. The app was pulled on March 30 because of it’s sole purpose: to track women.

Using info from Facebook, Google maps, GPS data from smart phones and several other social media websites ,“Girls Around Me” officially replaced the CCTV camera as best precursor to George Orwell’s 1984.

The official website says “Girls Around Me is a revolutionary new city scanner app than turns your town into a dating paradise! Use it to see where hot girls and guys are hanging out in your area, view their photos and make contact!” The Daily Cougar has to wonder if even Jack Abramoff could fix the PR problems of this grade AAA+ serial killer tech.

John Brownlee from Cult of Mac said the app is a wake up call. He’s right. It doesn’t just give a name and photo. It tells you GPS locations, age, favorite restaurants, preferred drinks, high school, college and anything else thoughtlessly posted onto social media websites. There is no opting out if you want to tweet, poke or draw something these days. There could not have been a more publicly available non-military-grade tracker on the market. What are the benefits of “Girls Around Me” other than aiding con artists and club sharks?

Tech gurus may disagree and point out that progress is inevitable. This is true and society benifits in the information age — but it suffers as well, and not just from stalker apps. Video game addiction can lead to obesity, employers like to snoop on worker’s Facebook accounts like the Big Boss version of Big Brother and search engines are killing short term memory.

Prior to this, the wave of the future could only exist in cyberpunk entertainment like Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell. Well, the future is now.  Today we clandestinely converse during class lectures and board meeting via a pair of smart phones and Twitter. This is the grandfather of telepathy via a wifi link and mechanized brains.

If that’s hard to believe, remember the stalker app.



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