Saturday, February 7, 2009

Google Latitude?

Background info: http://www.google.com/latitude/intro.html

I remember watching Enemy of the State for the first time (rented it on VHS in the '90s), and while I'm sure governments and intelligence agencies can track anyone with an IP address or a cell phone signal, I'm not sure that kind of technology should be a mundane thing. I don't want my friends and neighbors tracking me down without my knowledge. And I reserve the right to fib when asked the idiomatically understandable but grammatically incorrect question, "Where you at?"

At least with YouTube (also owned by Google) regular folk can videotape the wrongs of The Man and post 'em for the world to see (i.e., the recent BART shooting). YouTube is the counterbalance to both surveillance cameras popping all over the place and abuses of power previously done in secret. Who watches the watchmen? YouTube users with cell phone camcorders do. Who watches the YouTube videos? Virtually everyone with a decent Internet connection will watch...and rate...and some of them are comment trolls, but that's another story.

I don't know if the same can be said for Google Latitude. It might be only good for parents tracking down their children, I suppose, but that is a potential security risk, since someone else could possibly track the children, too.

Full disclosure: I also own some Google, and I can't wait for their annual shareholder meeting so I can vote my mind. Hopefully they'll have something good on the ballot other than re-electing last year's directors. Technically, at least in some companies, if I show up to a shareholder meeting, I could make any number of proposals to rile up the investors...but who has that sort of time?

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