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As a jumping-off point they look at a program being run at M.I.T.
“Now, when he dials another student, researchers know. When he sends an e-mail or text message, they also know. When he listens to music, they know the song. Every moment he has his Windows Mobile smartphone with him, they know where he is, and who’s nearby.
Mr. Brown and about 100 other students living in Random Hall at M.I.T. have agreed to swap their privacy for smartphones that generate digital trails to be beamed to a central computer. Beyond individual actions, the devices capture a moving picture of the dorm’s social network. ”
While this is a relatively harmless and completely voluntary invasion of privacy it raises a slew of questions about what constitutes “private” actions and how, in this digital age especially, are we going to balance the technical ability to track and gather personal data with the rights of the individual?
NYT piece is definitely worth a read.