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  • Dec 14, 2021

Tech Talk with Jeff - Tracking

If you think you are being watched wherever you go, you are!

Independent of all the video cameras everywhere tracking our every move, if you carry around a smartphone, that data is being collected. It does not matter what type of smartphone you use; it is tracking you and quite often listening to you since it is waiting for a voice command to tell it to do something for you.

One of the email accounts I have, that I don’t use all that often, is a Gmail account. It is useful every so often, so I have kept it around. One of the more interesting things that regularly pops up in my Gmail account is an email from Google that is titled “Google Maps Timeline”. When you look at the email, it has an option to explore the timeline. Below that option is a map that shows all the places I have been in the last month. It tells me how many places I have visited, how many miles I walked, how many miles I have driven and how long I was in the car. It also shows me off the shelf pictures of the places I have been. The latest email showed me places I went over Thanksgiving with my family. Wow! I didn’t realize how many places we went to!

So, what is my point in telling you about this? In one way this is fascinating, and it reminds me of things I did over the past month. On the other hand, it is kind of scary. We all like to think we have our privacy, and no one always knows where we are or have been. Not so much. This tracking knows everywhere I have been, and it is right here in front of me in my email.

We are all tracked far more than we think we are. Going down the MA Pike? Guess what, it is tracking you. It is also calculating your speed. Yes, they know how fast you have been traveling and slowing down while going under the sensors does not change that. It's simple math - how long did it take you to get between the sensor towers? This level of tracking our activities is all around us now and there is more there than we realize and know about. This is one of the joys of being in the electronic age. We have all these wonderful technologies that give us tons of information, entertainment and convenience, but it comes at a price. The price is our privacy.

Be aware and be safe!

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