Trojan Horse: GoGap via Flickr
There's a lot of buzz right now about Google Latitude, the new location-based service where you opt in to the service, select which friends you&39;re connected to, and then have it automatically update your location. I admit that there&39;s a creepy factor here, and that most people will not want to let most other people know exactly where they are at any given moment.
Yet in today&39;s MediaPost, the concerns get SO overblown that it&39;s making me think Latitude&39;s not such a bad idea after all:
"As it stands right now, Latitude could be a gift to stalkers, prying
employers, jealous partners and obsessive friends," Simon Davies,
director of Privacy International, said in a new report.
…Privacy International says the system has a design flaw: Other
people can get their hands on users&39; phones, and then change the
settings. For instance, the group said, a phone left in a repair shop
could be secretly enabled. Or someone could give another a
Latitude-enabled phone as a gift.
So basically, the concern is that these phones will be turned into Trojan horses. And the concern&39;s not with the software, it&39;s with the hardware.
It&39;s quite possible that Al Qaeda could come into your office, take your phone while you&39;re in the bathroom, turn it into a bomb, and make it explode when you walk into a shopping mall. But if the real concern about Google Latitude is some doomsday scenario a la Arlington Road, then maybe we can focus on more serious threats.
I do think Mr. Davies of Privacy International has had some REALLY bad cellphone repairmen.