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    Slate: Chinese Mobile Phones, Like American Ones, Helping Keep Track of People’s Whereabouts

    At Slate, Tom Scocca discusses the issue of location-tracking individuals via their smartphones or mobile phones:

    In a report on how China is tightening restrictions on foreign journalists, out of concern about possible protests, the New York Times brings up another government initiative:

    Beijing officials announced Wednesday that they intended to monitor the movements of millions of residents by means of information transmitted by their cellphones. One official was quoted on a government Web site as saying that the new program would provide “real-time information about a user’s activity.” […]

    Last year, the Chinese government began requiring new mobile-phone customers to show identification and register by name.

    The public’s willingness to carry personal tracking computers provides a rich source of data to curious corporations, researchers, and governments everywhere. […] And American law enforcement has found a bounty of evidence in people’s ever-smarter, ever-more-data-collecting portable devices.

    The old tech-utopian credo that information wants to be free? From information’s point of view, it means that information wants to be captured.

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