Ok- now that we are all being tracked all the time…

Or those of us with smart phones…

For the uninitiated- about two months ago a signal was sent to all smart phones. It contained a COVID19 contact tracing thingy (if you don’t believe me, go to settings on your phone- it’s there- hopefully turned to off)

Now that we are on the same page, what do we think about how easy it was for our phones to be tracked, therefore how easy it was for us to be tracked?

I have mine turned off. I also have location services off on my phone (which basically means I can’t use maps to get exact directions) Yet, even with location services off, somehow I still get a google timeline each month of places I’ve been…

So no matter what you do- someone somewhere knows where you are. Probably Tim Cook or Sundar Pichai…

I realize that tracking someone via their phone is neither hard nor new. My family and I share an Apple password so I can just click “Find my Iphone” and know exactly where they are in about a nanosecond. When my daughter was in sixth grade, riding the subway, this was useful for my fraught nerves. And my family is aware of this, so we are all complicit in the quid pro quo of not looking unless there’s an emergency or issue.

But still…it’s there.

Does knowing that your exact location is stored somewhere make you change your actions?

Are you less likely to do bad things because big brother is literally not figuratively watching?

I remember when those car tracking devices came out. They were marketed as safety features to put on the car of a young driver- you would know where they are at all times. But I always wondered how many times they were used to check up on a spouse suspected of cheating.  Isn’t that a great thing for a psychological thriller? Scorned man finds his wife’s car and deflates tires knowing that she will probably have to call him…Or something like that.

While we are on fictional scenarios of trackers gone wrong, what about the potential for a hacker to find out all the places you’ve been, and then blackmail you? Or a  la Ashley Madison, publish a list online of who was with whom, when where and how?

The government knowing is probably the least of our worries. I’m guessing the common man/woman/whatever, or as stated Google or Apple,  is more problematic… (FYI- on my android phone, I must go to Google to view the tracker)

So what do we think about, with the push of a button, someone, somewhere will know exactly where you are at all times?

Discuss the real life implications of this, but feel free to throw in some fictional teasers…


Discuss how anything being done to quell the wrath of COVID19 is worthwhile no matter what the cost?

This version has been modified from what was originally published because I thought of something while I was in the shower

59 thoughts on “I See You…

    1. I don’t think anyone really wants to know my Barnes and noble, bed bath, and grocery habits either, but who knows….FYI….settings….google for android, privacy for iPhone

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Tracking is one of those unacknowledged parts of using the internet. I think we all forget that every time we do something on our phone, tablet, computer there are gonna be records of it for anyone who cares. Of course no one tells you this, but I think the majority of us realize it don’t we? At this point in time, actually really any point in time… do I care? My life is so predictable, my daily activities so mundane, I have to wonder who is sitting in a room laughing at my sad and boring life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think most people take an ostrich approach to what does and doesn’t happen with smart devices. I do laugh when I hear people won’t get Alexa because they innocently think they’re not being tracked already. But to the other point….I agree that I lead a really boring life, and other than someone mocking the fact that my browser history probably contains 500 searches for get eye cream to get rid of under eye bags is only mildly embarrassing. But my daughter was watching something the other day where the assistant saw that her boss had facebook stalked some guy 63 times in an hour…that could actually have implications down the line. Or there’s always the often used novel trick where someone is wrongly accused of a crime based on an odd coincidence, like your history has you at the wrong place at the right time. In theory it’s moot…in reality, it might not be.


  2. This startled me. I checked my phone settings and didn’t see a COVID 19 tracking function. Can you tell us more? What entity sent “the signal,” a government agency? The concerns about being tracked are not personal: “Now Treacy is in her home office. Oh look, she’s moved to the kitchen.” But the notion that such a “signal was sent to all smartphones” unsettles me, particularly if there was no notification. Was contact tracing put in place in NYC, perhaps? No word about that in California, but as we’ve been famously mocked, perhaps we’re all too busy in our hot tubs sipping wine and eating “brie and cheese.” 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My understanding is it’s everywhere. If you have an iPhone go to settings, then I think it’s privacy (I’ll ask my daughter when she’s done with her test) on Android it’s settings then google. I’m going to try to attach a pic of what it looks like to the post so check back in a few minutes

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No. Not sent by a government agency. Sent by google and Apple. How it was coordinated I don’t know, but I know most states have hired contact tracers, and I don’t know if they’re independent of the government. I just know this happened.


  3. I’m going to guess that the version of my phone is too old for this to have been installed. I’ve always attempted to keep everything I do as locked down as possible, but I’m certain there are still things that slip through. When I realized that photos can embed data like location and that those that know how to look for it can find that information, I’ve always had the location feature turned off unless we are traveling and I need access to gps or maps. Most people don’t realize how insanely easy it is for someone to find info on you that you think is private whether it is something like this or something else. The kind of information that is actually accessible to the public is astonishing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not being traceable is an illusion people cling to. And you don’t even have to be that savvy to do it. But if you get a chance search COVID19 on your phone…that’s how my friend located it. I’d be interested in knowing if version of phone matters

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If it’s android doesn’t that automatically get any new Google updates? If so then the version shouldn’t matter?? Unless TJ uses a 1980’s version of the 5 lb cell phone with antenna that is!!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A search under settings doesn’t return anything. I don’t think I’m savvy enough to know how to search any deeper than that, but it doesn’t look like I have anything. I’ve got a Samsung s7, so a few generations behind the current version.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I just checked my iPhone and I don’t see anything like that in privacy settings. I do have my location services on but I restrict the aps that can use it or make it so only certain aps can use it. We do “find my” for our girls and each other but our son doesn’t want to share his location with us (he lives with us and I drive him to work so it’s not a big deal to me. Drives my husband crazy though). I’ll be interested to know where your daughter shows her Covid info. Which phone does she have? Mine is an 8 plus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My friend who has an iPhone searched COVID19 and it came up. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had it in their phone yet, but your restrictions may have held you at bay…. she has the ten, I think…two years old

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My Android phone showed Settings/Google/Services. Under Services there was COVID-19 Exposure Notifications OFF. Pressing that, I found “To turn on COVID-19 Exposure Notifications, install a participating app.” Pressing Learn More, I found if I wanted to be tracked, I should download an official app from my region’s government public health authority. If my path had crossed that of someone who had reported being exposed to the virus, I would be notified. It goes on to say that the system works with Bluetooth. If your Bluetooth is on, it will recognize when another Bluetooth device is nearby. It sounds like you could duck this system by turning off Bluetooth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I tend to turn off all these things, but the sheer fact that at any moment we can be told that they must be activated is a little scary. Plus, how do we know we aren’t being tracked anyway…


      1. I assume I’m being tracked, but it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it does John. He has been known to make snarky remarks to Alexa. Neither of us has anything to hide, so it’s the principle of the thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I assume I’m being tracked as well. Though why someone would want to know anything about me is questionable


  6. I have a smart phone I bought in Mexico and still pay for service with the cellular company there. I am in the U.S. now and the setting for contract tracing is on it too, but theoretically turned off. There seems to be no end to the erosion of our cviil liberties and privacy under the guise of protecting us. Doesn’t that sound like the modern technology driven version of European colonialism? Thanks for sharing; ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I won’t be signing up for the contact tracing scheme! Our Health minister was presented with the scenario that someone could be contacted saying they’d have to self isolate for 14 days, then after re entering society they could straight away …………………….receive a text and have to self isolate again and the Minister’s reply to this was? “That’s Life”.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I checked my iPhone under Settings and then Health. Covid 19 was turned off. I left it that way. Though I’m sure it really doesn’t matter much. I’ve nothing to hide but it’s a little too Big Brother for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. They just unrolled that tracking program/app here in Canada, and I got the notice/message to install it on my cell phone, but I ignored it. I don’t even have a data plan on my phone, it’s just for phone/text, so I’m not even sure it would work. Lots of complaints here about it not working on older phones. Not sure how useful it would be anyway, as it’s voluntary and you need the majority of people to sign up for it to make it work properly. I believe in China tracking was mandatory, as everyone has a phone with their health info/card on it?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting but i just looked at my phone and I see nothing suspicious in the settings. 🤷‍♀️ I don’t keep my phone with me all the time so tracking me would be dodgy at best. Now as for what I research online, I’m sure there are reams [old school reference] of my topics because I am forever going down a rabbit hole of research. As for where I go via car or on foot, not so varied.


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