If you like to live your life on the move, using your mobile phone and social networking sites, a new system developed by Raytheon, the US defence contractor, can track what you do and provide predictions on where you are going and what you will be doing next.
The software, called ‘Riot’ (Rapid Information Overlay Technology) can gather information about a person from social networking sites, and from mobile phone apps such as Foursquare, as well as using information from photos the user posts on the internet.
Raytheon say they have not sold the software to any clients as yet, although they did share information about it with the US government in 2010.
The software has raised concerns about the privacy of personal information, and that personal data could be covertly collected without the person’s authorisation. These concerns are compounded by the reputation of many social networking sites of not being transparent about the information they keep, or who they share it with.
A person may think they are sharing their information with friends or family, and be unaware that their every move, every post, and every conversation they have via the internet is being recorded and analysed.
This is particularly disturbing when we consider that the US and UK governments are desperately trying to push through legislation to monitor all internet activity.
It will only be a matter of time before our governments will be able to know the most intimate details about our lives. What is more disturbing is that they will have a good idea of what we are going to do, or where we are going to go.