RIM to Share You BlackBerry’s Location

I wrote  yesterday that Apple’s new privacy policy lets the company “precisely” track you and your iOS 4 powered device, then provides that data to applications for location targeted advertisements and features. Well according to IntoMobile, Research In Motion Ltd.’s (RIM) BlackBerry might be doing the same thing very soon.  Scared yet?

While it is understandable that companies want to tap into the ever growing internet-based advertisement market, they just keep pushing the line when it comes to privacy. No one trusts Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg or his company anymore. Google completely blew it by basically stealing bits of personal information from people’s Wi-Fi networks while collecting information for its Google Maps service (not to mention that whole Google Buzz fiasco).  Apple and its iAd advertisement platform wants to know where you are at all times. But now RIM? Wow.

Sure, you can opt out of the “feature,” but many consumers simply will not know that it even exists.  This all stems from RIM’s 2009 acquisition of Dash Navigation—a company that provides software allowing real-time traffic pattern information. RIM has decided that this feature is great (and I agree), but the problem lies with when companies decide that your information is for sale and use. It is one thing for a company to sell email addresses (note that I am not talking about RIM here, just giving an example of a privacy issue) and something entirely different when 3rd parties will be able to know exactly where you are at all times. Real time location information is something that should be protect.

It looks like our Congress needs to roll out some new laws to ensure that us—the consumers—know exactly what can be collected, used or shared. If it was all up to corporations, everything about us would be available in a huge online database and updated in real-time. Information is power, but with power comes great responsibility. Sorry, I couldn’t help but throw that in there. Privacy laws serve a real purpose, and with the current pace that technology has been progressing at lately, our government needs to step its game up to ensure that we do not get taken advantage of.

Any opinions on the death of privacy? Let me know.

Tags: , ,