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Global mobile statistics

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Introduction

According to the Global mobile statistics, there are almost 7 billion mobile subscriptions in the world. (ICT facts and figures, 2014) Mobile technology including tablets, Smartphones and other forms of personal digital assistant have particular appeal for organizations and people in search of tools to improve productivity. People and organizations are turning more and more to mobile devices for solutions as data handling and programs as activities become more sophisticated. With such developments there arises the need to reflect on and address ethical issues relevant to mobile technology use.

Cell phones provide insight into the workings of a society. On the other hand, Privacy is one of the ethical issues with cell phone technology. Privacy issues develop into a great concern as the use of cell phone becomes more and more prevalent. Cell phones with installed cameras are often used to capture and send pictures to interested or uninterested parties without the knowledge of the owner. Privacy does not only concern the cell phone user, but also the people within hearing distant of the user. Some People talk louder while projecting intimate details of their conversation to anyone within the proximity. This is an unethical use of mobile phone gadgets. Currently, only a few places such as airplanes and medical facilities prohibit the use of cell phone entirely for safety reasons.

Despite cell phones being used as private means of personal contact, the privacy and comfort of individuals near the user is often compromised. Secondly, using GPS-enabled cell phones; it is possible to track the owners’ activities and locations without their knowledge. Cell phones are enabled to send signals to nearby cell towers. By exploiting such capabilities, such software allow spying on text messages, call logs, photos and conversations in a way totally invisible to the phone user.

Another issue with the use of cell phones is the distraction it causes while operating a moving vehicle. According to Britt, accidents that result from Cell phone distraction caused 330,000 injuries and 2,600 deaths every year in the US (Britt, 2005). The reaction time of cell phone users slows drastically when using mobile phones. The medical risks related to cell phone use are another ethical issue. The effect of radiofrequency energy waves is a common concern among researchers. FCC policies limit the level of radiofrequency energy that can be released by a mobile phone. (FDA-FCC, 2009) According to scientists, these levels of radiofrequency energy waves are a way below the required levels necessary to have the potential to have an adverse effect on user’s health. However, the argument is ongoing

Technical background

Cell phones have turned into powerful mini-computers in this age of advancement in the technology. Various mobile apps and software’s that have been installed on mobile phones have created issues with privacy or cause irreparable damage to relationships. While some apps are not meant for spying on peoples’ lives, they have been used to get personal information that has been used for financial gain or other purposes. Hundreds of software and apps exist on the market. One of the most popular software used to spy on cell phones in the market is mSpy. The software offers an effective means to monitor a person’s cell phone and record activities like text messages, phone calls, GPS location, web activities, emails and much more. All the monitoring and recording takes place in a complete stealth mode such that the target user does not know that he or she is under surveillance. Various features give the spy software the ability to spy on the target.

One of the mobile spying features is the Phone Call Logs. The feature enables the recording of every incoming and outgoing number on the target cell phone. The call is logged along with duration and time stamp. The SMS Logging feature records both incoming and outgoing messages of the target. Another feature is the Phone Book Access that gains access to all the contacts that are stored on the targets cell phone. Record Web Activity is a program that records all web activities including websites visited, emails, Facebook, YouTube WhatsApp and more. The GPS Location Tracking enables the keeping track of the cell phone user at any given time. With the absences of GPS, Cell-ID Tracking feature is to track the targets location. An SMS Commands feature can remotely send SMS to lock and unlock the cell phone usage or delete call history, access photos and videos and SMS logs from the target phone at any time. The feature that allows these operations to go unnoticed is the Stealth Operation, which enables the software to operate in a covert mode so that the presence of the spy software remains unnoticed. Different apps have different features that enable tracking of the cell phone device.

One could swipe another person’s phone and in just a few minutes install the software or application returning it without the target ever knowing. Then, when the target gets a call, the spy can listen in to their conversations and read texts and emails. The cell phone hacker can access targets camera phone and speaker to keep track of the targets every move. At times, the screen on the targets cell phone light up for no reason, the battery runs out quickly, the flash goes off without taking a picture, and the phone might have spyware on it. However, it is very difficult to detect it under numerous circumstances. We can look at the technical aspect by looking at one feature that comes with most cell phones; GPS and how it promotes the breach of privacy. The GPS has commonly been used to pinpoint the location of the phone and its user. Tracking a person this way is not illegal, but it could be seen as a breach of privacy when the information obtained is used in an abusive manner or in any form of harassment.

Cell Phone Basics

A cell phone is essentially a sophisticated two-way radio. The sending and reception of radio signals is done by the towers and base stations that are arranged into a network of cells. Cell phones have low-power transmitters that allow them communicate with the nearest tower. As the user travels, they move from one cell to another while the base stations monitor the strength of the signal. As one moves toward the edge of one cell, their signal strength diminishes. Simultaneously, the base station in the cell that the user is approaching notices the strength of the signal increasing. As the user moves from cell to cell, the towers transfer their signal from one to the next. Even without a GPS receiver, a cell phone can provide information about the users’ location. A computer can be used to determine the user’s location based on measurements of their signal. (Cole, 2015)

One of the most convenient of New-generation cell phones features is the GPS. Most phones can receive and display location maps, to show roads and more and to give directions. The turn-by-turn programs are mostly JAVA-based and work with a cell provider’s database. However, GPS on cell phones is a bit murkier. The ability to locate an individual’s location without their consent or for persons; motives is a breach of privacy. Before GPS became more commonly used in many mobile devices sold on the market, the techniques available to track cell phones was triangulating the cell phone’s position using a number of techniques available to governmental agencies such as law enforcement. Currently, most cell phone tracking applications work by accessing the GPS location and providing feedback to the end-user in the form of a software program or an app.

Position

Invasion of privacy occurs particularly when there is an intrusion upon a person’s reasonable expectation to be left alone. Today, cell phone users have signed away privacy rights. Such details give individuals an unprecedented insight into people’s lives. Cell phones provide an enormous database that could be cherry-picked by any interested party to provide a remarkable insight into, what you do, who you are, who you know and where you have been. According to the report, 54% of cell phone owners in the U.S have decided not any form of the app by recognizing that the personal information it would access. (ICT facts and figures, 2014) Also, nearly one-third of cell phone app users reported that they had uninstalled an app from their phones after they had learned it was collecting personal information they were not willing to share.

However, the many mobile privacy concerns do not result from the use of apps but from what can happen with so much sensitive information getting out of hands or going into the wrong hands. The study carried out by PEW show that the majority of cell phone users are somewhat aware of mobile privacy. According to Pew, 41% of mobile phone users back up at least the contacts, photos and other files from their phone. 32% of cell phone users have cleared their phone’s Web browsing or search history. 30% of all cell phone owners stayed that they say they back up the entire contents of their phone.  19% of the population has turned off their phone’s location-tracking feature as the concerns of, or other people might access that information. (Litt, 2013)

Regardless of the customer’s actions, whether you turn off location tracking on your phone, your wireless carrier knows where it is at all times it’s connected to the cell network. For Carriers, this information is surrender to law enforcement, and it’s unclear what else they may be doing with this data. Typically, the majority of people don’t think clearly or consistently about mobile privacy. That’s why, it is important to know how much they depend on cell phones.

Objection

Tracking and spying of cell phones is a strategic practice for individuals, businesses, and security industry. In the past decade, tracking and spying been used by the police department and security industry as a proliferation of military-grade weapons and surveillance equipment in an effort to enhance security. Privacy activist and lawyers have regarded this as the biggest threat to cell phone privacy. They have been used as military eavesdropping device by disguising themselves as cell towers in order to covertly collect information from cell phones. On the other hand, though spyware is designed to collect or access private data without a person’s knowledge or approval, this data could be used as an important money saving tool for business. Spyware commonly target data including text messages, phone call history, browser history, user location, contact list, email, and private photos. Even if this information could be for identity theft or financial fraud, it could used to improve business performance.

Additionally, businesses can use the GPS to track vehicles, thus can be an important money-saving tool for a business. When a business has a fleet of vehicles, GPS tracking may applied to improve routing operations, reduce idle times and better customer service. Tracking and spying can, therefore, be used to lower overhead business costs and increase the bottom line. When people know that they are constantly being watched, the business can run smoother. The business can acquire a competitive edge through the use of these activities. The customers also benefit from GPS tracking right along with the business. When you always know where your employees are located, you are better prepared to deal with emergency situations and last minute customer needs.

The ability to monitor employee activities increases visibility into a business, for example; it is .possible to quickly see which vehicles are wasting expensive fuel by excessive idling. This gives a business person better control over his fuel spend. When people think about spying or tracking, they see it as a breach of privacy. When you come to think of it, you’ll realize how beneficial a cell phone spying app can be. As a manager, the cell phone tracking software can be used in all company-owned phones to monitor the employees. This is because employees love using mobile devices for emailing to their friends, playing games, surfing the Internet during office hours when they are required to be working.

As a manager, you have to know what exactly the employees are paid for. What’s more, it is possible to trace dangerous workers sell or planning to sell the corporate secrets or confidential corporate data to competitors or other parties like competitors. As you can see, the use of a cell phone tracker is obvious! At home, spying and tracking can also influence the behavior and ensure as parents. Mobile tracking apps know how difficult it is to control modern children. For example, parents can even restriction calls from suspicious contacts or to unsuitable parties. In these aspects, spying and tracking cannot be treated as unethical.

Response

Any access of information when there is an intrusion upon a person’s reasonable expectation to be left alone is unethical. This is to say that a person’s cell phone conversations and wireless activities are not private. However, it is important to remember that cell phone tracking and spying is easy in this age of technological advancements. The unethical practices are part of the cell phone effects that have been brought by technology evolution. As such, it is necessary to recognize that our activities can be easily intercepted by interested people. When cell networks were analog, eavesdropping on cell phone calls was trivial. In fact vendors could sell old cell scanners to the public. However, government telecommunications companies and law enforcement have much easier ways to snoop on calls as compared to attackers.

Despite the right to privacy being one firmly entrenched value, leading-edge and rapidly changing technology represent a current major issue in the field of privacy. Data harvesting, data mining, and analysis have turned into an established debate in the policy making and academic and fields. What starts off as an abuse of personal private information without consent can easily heighten in the case of fraud, popularly known phishing and compromises on our security. Such impacts of technology on information privacy have motivated researchers to explore information privacy issues.

Information privacy concerns the need for individuals to have some influence or control over information about themselves. Communication and information technologies have for long been known to expose different users to myriad information surveillance and collection practices. The access to an individual’s information such as Social Security number gives the perpetrators the opportunity to collect the entire documents related one’s citizenship through identity the access to an individual’s information such as Social Security number gives the perpetrators the opportunity to collect the entire documents related one’s citizenship through identity theft. Information on a credit card has frequently been used to reconstruct individuals’ identity. Such information availed by credit card have also been used to run up huge bills causing credit card firms to suffer significant losses. Further, individual credit card information has been frequently used to create new identities for criminals. Most Individuals express fear when making business transactions since the information can be used by criminals to contact the issuing bank or to change the mailing address on the account theft.

Technology issues and information privacy and have been topics of policy action and public deliberation ever since the late 1960s. It has therefore for long been known that communication and information technologies expose different users to myriad information surveillance and collection practices. Due to this fact, their use of technology has continuously raised concerns about privacy and civil liberties. Indeed, technological advances have led a significant transformation in the social landscape. According to the author, generations have experienced personal and social spaces in relatively different ways as technology has continued to become ubiquitous and change seamlessly cross online and offline experiences.

As the users of cell phones, there are various activities that can be carried out on the part of the cell phone user to reduce the risks that come with spying and tracking of cell phone activities. The first step is to Turn Bluetooth off when not in use. Cell phone users should be careful while checking banking information or doing financial transactions or while connected to public wireless networks. Credit card and other forms of personal information transmitted over public networks may be vulnerable to snooping by identity thieves. The third step is to use Passwords protect your cell phone. Passwords ensure that applications are not installed. The practice also login passwords for access to email, VPN, social networks, banks and other accounts.

Also, it is imperative for anyone to keep your phone operating system as well as apps up to date. A cell phone user can also consider disabling photo geotagging. This will avoid the phone having to use its built-in GPS capability to embed the user’s exact location into the files of photos taken using the app phone’s camera. A cell phone user should pay attention to the permissions the app is requesting to access: Before installing apps, you.

A cell phone’s security lockout feature can be used to set the phone to automatically lock after a particular amount of time not in use Encryption of data is also important Enable encryption on the internal memory card and all data on the cell phone if the option is also available. Lastly, it is advisable to Install security software that allows the remote location, lock and wipe data saved in the cell phone. The most appropriate time to carry out these activities is actually when you phone with you before it is stolen. The tradeoff between privacy and technology is not only worthwhile but also inevitable. In fact, technology may provide security or increased convenience at the expense of privacy. The interaction between technology and persons constantly requires the permanent access and use of personal information. Therefore, as users of cell phone technology, we have to make efforts to safeguard against the ethical aspects related to cell phone use

Conclusion

Cell phones have turned into powerful mini-computers in this age of advancement in the technology. Various mobile apps and software’s that have been installed on mobile phones have created issues with privacy or cause irreparable damage to relationships. While some apps are not meant for spying on peoples’ lives, they have been used to get personal information that has been used for financial gain or other purposes. Tracking and spying of cell phones is a strategic practice for individuals, businesses, and security industry. In the past decade, tracking and spying been used by the police department and security industry as a proliferation of military-grade weapons and surveillance equipment in an effort to enhance security. Privacy activist and lawyers have regarded this as the biggest threat to cell phone privacy. They have been used as military eavesdropping device by disguising themselves as cell towers in order to covertly collect information from cell phones. On the other hand, though spyware is designed to collect or access private data without a person’s knowledge or approval, this data could be used as an important money saving tool for business. Spyware commonly targets data including text messages, phone call history, browser history, user location, contact list, email, and private photos. Even if this information could be for identity theft or financial fraud, it could used to improve business performance.

References

Britt Roy (2009) “Drivers on Cell Phones **** Thousands, Snarl Traffic.” LiveScience. 21 Apr. 2009

ICT facts and figures (2014) The world in 2014: Global mobile statistics 2014

LITT, S. R. (2013). PRIVACY and TECHNOLOGY. Vital Speeches Of The Day, 79(10), 313-321.

COLE, D. (2015). Privacy 2.0: Surveillance in the Digital State. Nation, 300(14), 218-221.

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in nursing essay writing service services. If you need a similar paper you can place your order from research paper services.

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