It’s not exactly news that smart phones track everything you do and everywhere you go. A new algorithm collects data from your movements and combines it with the movements of people you interact with regularly to predict where you will be in the next 24 hours. It’s accurate down to 20 meters.
Research suggests that humans tend to follow familiar patterns. Predictive programs such as the one created by researchers at the University of Birmingham are a Homeland Security wet dream. The implications of such tracking technology are dire, but I’m not too worried about it. My name isn’t Mohammed and I don’t give a damn if the NSA can predict when and where I take my morning dumps. In fact, unless local law enforcement starts using it to predict which alley I’m going to take a piss in while drunk and then bust me, I have nothing to fear. The algorithm obviously has law enforcement applications, but there are also vast commercial opportunities.
Some people might be concerned about new technologies like this, but it doesn’t really faze me. As a full time alcoholic, I’m not that difficult to predict. If someone wants to know where I’m going to be in the afternoon, I’ll be passed out in my bed. If you want to know where I’ll be at night, just follow the happy hours and drink specials. I’m a creature of habit. I’m no mastermind. If I’m not at the house, I’ll be at the bars. Occasionally I hit the strip club or go to the pool, but if they can predict that random shit, we’re all fucked anyway. Might as well just get drunk and not worry about it. Who knows, maybe Google ads will offer me a free lap dance next time.
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- [via Slate]