Phone Trackers – Useful Aids or an Invasion of Privacy?
In today’s modern world, we have some truly remarkable pieces of technology. We have at our disposal a range of gadgets, devices and programs that make our lives easier and provide us with an unparalleled level of control over our actions.
Mobile phone technology is one particular area of development that has witnessed huge advancements in the last 10-15 years – we have progressed from huge hand-held devices through to small smartphones complete with touch screens, microphones, cameras, and more!
As mobile phone technology has developed, so has complimentary software such as phone trackers. Today we have access to an array of awesome trackers that allows us to monitor the whereabouts of a smartphone – this technology was unheard of a decade ago! With this technology, however, comes an ethical minefield – is it morally acceptable to use tracking technology or could it be viewed as an invasion of privacy? This article looks at both sides of the argument:
What is a phone tracker?
There are many different types of phone tracker – in most cases; a phone tracker is an app or piece of software that you can install on your smartphone. This software can do one of two things:
1. Track the location of another mobile device/phone
2. Track information and data from your own mobile phone
Phone trackers are mainly used by governmental organisations to trace criminals and suspects – government agencies have at their disposal a range of high tech tracking programs that can triangulate a person’s whereabouts using satellites and cell phone masts etc. Alternatively, phone tracking software is often used by parents or partners to track the whereabouts and actions of their children/spouse. Other investigation agents / private investigators are known to utilise such technology to trace and monitor targets. Some examples of this type of phone tracker are listed below:
As you can see, the use of such technologies could be controversial, therefore we have provided a viewpoint from both sides of the argument regarding ethics:
Argument 1 – A phone tracker is an invasion of my privacy
There are many people who simply view a phone tracker as an invasion of privacy. The idea of the government being able to trace your whereabouts via your smartphone is unsettling – it can induce paranoia. Furthermore, the idea that your partner could secretly install an app to track your phone calls and movements could be seen as a breach of trust and a violation of your rights of freedom.
This group of people believes that technology such as this causes mistrust and prompts people to act first and ask questions later. They see it as underhand, devious and secretive and that no good can come from the use of phone trackers. We completely understand this attitude and there is some basis of truth behind their thought process, there is also a flip side to the argument, however:
Argument 2 – A phone tracker is a fantastic tool
Other people will see the benefits of a phone tracker and understand how it can help society. Phone trackers used by the government, for example, can help track terrorists and criminals and prevent attacks from ever happening. Government and even detective agencies can use trackers to check on suspicious activities and keep tabs on the movement of known threats to national security – surely this is a good thing?
Alternatively, this group of people will also see how personal phone trackers could benefit a family. A parent could use a phone tracker for example to monitor the whereabouts of their child and even check their social media messages. You can safeguard your children using a phone tracker and give yourself a little extra piece of mind.