The EyePhone has been watching you

by Aaron Franz

first published Apr 2011


Apple and Google are now tied up in a scandal over privacy. It seems as though these tech giants have been using the GPS in the eye-phone to track and trace hapless owners. Detailed records of people's daily movements have been saved to databases for use by these companies. Google has used this info specifically to empower their advertising.


A little background info is needed to understand this story properly. Our right to privacy has been steadily eroding in this "post 9/11 world." When it comes to tracking cellular phones we have to remember the federal e911 program of 2005. This was an FCC mandate that all cellular phones be traceable within 100 meters so that they could be found in emergency situations. Go back to 2001, and recall the White House approved secret program which enabled intelligence agencies to bypass the FISA court system and collect personal information. In 2006 the NSA came out an stated that it had compiled the telephone call logs of 200 million Americans.

Now remember that in 2010 Google openly stated it works directly with the NSA on issues of "cybersecurity." The recent iphone scandal is but one link in a long chain. The privacy of individuals has been trampled to such an extent, that it is difficult to imagine turning things around. It is exactly this point, which I feel is of the utmost importance to understand.

This is a major news story, and as such its

effect upon the mass consciousness must be understood.  To me, this story is merely stating the obvious. Our daily lives are being tracked via digital devices. It is certainly a good thing that outrage is still the reaction to this fact, but something deeper is happening. We have to realize how the iphone has become entrenched within "normal" life. People use it without thinking twice about what its complex interior processes may be up to. It is taken for granted. It is also a powerful tool that few would really want to give up. In this we find the real problem. When privacy issues such as these pop up, there has to be a resolution. Instead of simply discarding "smart" phones, people look for help from exterior forces. Enter the Senators John: Kerry and McCain. They have proposed a privacy bill, and in the process have made the public feel reassured that there is in fact someone looking out for them on this issue.

I would suggest that the solutions offered up by JohnJohn and company are no real solutions at all. The only effective solutions are those that come from empowered individuals. For anyone who has the ability to really confront this issue, and the will to make a change in their own life, I have compiled the following list of possible solutions:

Real Solutions

  • Don't use eyephones, Droids, or any other advanced smartphones in the first place. This is the simplest and best solution to the problem, but I realize it is not going to appeal to many people, so please consider these other suggestions.
  • Don't take your cellular phone everywhere you go. If you don't need it, leave it at home. This will disable its ability to track your every waking step.
  • Don't keep your phone in the same room with you at all times. Remember, in 2006 Google announced plans to use PC microphones to record the background noise for use in targeting advertisements (and God knows what else). Smartphone mics could be used in a similar fashion, so keep that phone stuffed inside something that will disable its mic. 
  • Put tape over your phone's camera (or cameras), to disable any possibility of video surveillance. If you must take a picture, use a camera that is not built directly into the phone. 
  • Don't use Google Latitude, or any other service that enables the tracking and tracing of your friends' families' or employees' cellular phones.
  • Instead of posting all of your photos and videos to facebook, keep them in an album. Have a "throwback" party with all your friends where you eat hamburgers and pour over each other's photo albums. 


More than anything else, don't let this news story bring you down. The constant media barrage we must endure on a daily basis is damaging to the human psyche. It really is too much to handle, and this is the point! We are being trampled by psychological warfare in the form of constant crisis. We are in an age of transitions. Constant change surrounds us, and we always seem to be two steps behind the cutting edge. Do not let this discourage you. Keep your head up. Realize that even little things you do make a difference. By simply following a unique plan of action you will be doing right. My small list of suggestions above are easy ways to take effective action. Be creative, and follow your own path. 

The best thing you can do is Unplug the Signal, relax, and regroup. You are in control of your own destiny.