2.OH NO!: GPS and the BlackBerry

If you missed the opening commentary for 2.0H NO!, check out last week’s column where I lend an insightful look into why BlackBerry addiction isn’t really that bad. I just don’t want to repeat myself, so have at it and come on back.

If you’re up to speed, let’s continue. With the release of built-in GPS on the BlackBerry 8800, the paranoia is starting to set in and folks are even more concerned than ever about being watched while they’re PIN’ing their wife about what’s for dinner (maybe the CIA is hungry, too, that’s why they want to know…). Obviously I’ve got a take on the topic, and to see it in all of it’s glory, hit that jump.

For starters, let’s review. GPS isn’t exactly new. It made it’s first appearance in the late 70’s, 1978 to be exact, with an experimental satellite being shot up into the atmosphere. Since then, we’ve seen the technology evolve into so much more. Now, GPS is used with nearly all forms of transportation, surveying, mapping, and there’s a multitude of other uses ontop of that.

One thing that’s grown along with the popularity of GPS is the fear of the ability for other parties to track you - and like I said, with the BlackBerry 8800 now sporting the technology, some of our own are starting to sweat. People are looking for ways to rip the technology out of the device and I’m telling you this: relax.

How did get here in the first place, folks? YOU wanted it in there, didn’t you? According to both of RIM’s executives and a plethora of reviews, GPS is one of the most requested technologies to be included in smartphones and other gadgets. Why does there have to be party poopers pooping on the GPS? They’re not worried about being watched by the big guys (see: CIA, FBI, TGIFriday’s), they’re worried about their peers, their BOSSES, peering in on them.

It’s right in the specs itself, one of the intended uses of GPS on the BlackBerry is employee tracking. Look:

Built-in GPS also gives you access to a wide range of other Location-Based Services (LBS), like employee and resource tracking, social networking and more.

And THAT’s why people are getting worried. But here’s the thing: if something like this is actually a concern for you, something tells me you shouldn’t be using a BlackBerry in the first place - that, or you don’t trust your boss and should immediately vacate your snug cubicle.

If you’re worried about being tracked, chances are you’re doing some things that shouldn’t be happening. Your boss isn’t going to GPS track you to the gentleman’s club that you spent your lunch hour at, and if he did - maybe he just wanted to know why you didn’t invite him along with you. If you really do have some viable arguments about the GPS on your device, sit-down with your BES administrator or even your boss and voice your concerns. The worst thing that could happen is they laugh until they tear up right in your face, right?

That or they actually are tracking you.

Comments [3 Responses]

February 28th, 2007 at 8:31 pm

I agree with you 100%!

GPS is best feature that can be in a mobile device! There is nothing to worry about. Those who worry just switch it off. It’s so easy!

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