Technology and the web are just like money: they could be put into good use such as donations made to charity, and they could also be used to bring about pain and chaos; granting the purchasing power to obtain illegal substances such as drugs! Though mobiles, browsers, Facebook and Twitter help promote businesses, open up opportunities and allows some people to find love and friendship, they could also be used in schemes, scams, stalking and crimes!
We have previously addressed many of the harms which technology and the web impose, the serious and the not so serious. However, as I was lost on the trails of a friend of mine from one Facebook page to another, it hit me:
… there are so many stalking and tracking methods which have been introduced to us through technology and the numerous recent startups and it’s about time that we reveal them to you! I will break them down to you into 3 main categories: 1) discrete, 2) manual and 3) voluntary:
1. Discrete Tracking:
This type of tracking is not open to the public. It would be carried out by certain information seeking companies and governmental bodies. Here are couple of examples on how it can be achieved:
Cell Tower Tracking: Even though police are tapping into the locations of mobile phones thousands of times a year, the legal ground rules remain unclear, and federal privacy laws written a generation ago are ambiguous at best.
Recently, the first federal appeals court to consider the topic will hear oral arguments in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices. Read more here
Google Stalking: Google can log to the last search you’ve done using Google Mobile search with location enabled or even using Google Maps from the mobile, it then can easily log into your location or even find out where you are going -You do trust Google, no?
2. Manual Stalking
This type ot stalking is mostly social media based:
Did you block the ex from your g-chat list, de-friend him on Facebook, un-follow his Twitter feed? How about your Flickr account, did you delete all the photos of the two of you sucking face? And then there’s the mutual friends and family members that are a part of your on-line social network — what to do about them? Trust me when I tell you: manual stalking works and it is creepy! All you need to do is: …. Hahaha, nope, not going to tell you! :)
3. Voluntary Tracking
The last type is one which we, as users, impose on ourselves.
Facebook’s Places, Foursquare, Gowalla and Twitter geo-location are the best examples of tracking and stalking tools. Not only can people know what you are doing, but they also know with whom and where. What if they catch you at night, all alone, taking a walk down Elm Street? Scary thought no?
Finally, I would like to leave you with some Online Stalker Statistics (2009, HaltAbuse.org) to ponder on:
- 78% of Victims are Women
- 61% Had a Prior Relationship (This doesn’t mean dating/etc – Just knew) with the Stalker
- 17% Resulted in an escalation to physical violence
Looking forward to your feedback down below… Any relevant stories are much welcomed…