Data Point

Data Point: ...And they will know us by the trail of data

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I’m nothing short of amazed at the media’s recent obsession with CarrierIQ—a mostly hidden application installed on many mobile phones—and the recent realization that, wait for it, your mobile phone carrier is interested in what you’re doing with that magical little device they sold you.

If you live in fear that some secret conspiracy of applications are reading your most intimate of text messages, what I’m about to tell you might just force you to return to the dark ages of landlines and snail mail: Your privacy was surgically removed long ago.

Wiretapping laws or not, you’re volunteering to give more information about yourself than ever before. The sites you use and the apps you download are asking for—and getting—more than you might imagine.

Just as the details of a crime are amplified when broken down minute-by-minute for the jury, the timelines you’re creating might look even more sinister in retrospect than they did in the moment.

I, for one, welcome our new data-logging overlords. Here are a few things you can figure out about me by simply searching Twitter and filling in a few of the blanks with Google.