Poll of the week: Are you worried of being tracked?

It is true. I am the kind of person who tends to forgot his wallet at an airport check, leaving my keys at a park bench, and my entire backpack with all my gadgets at the university library more than once. Hence, it makes perfect sense when I say that the idea of a wireless key tracker is an attractive proposition to me.

Over the years, many solutions have come to our rescue, with Samsung and Apple using some ingenious innovations to track our lost items securely. Take the AirTags as an example: it utilizes Apple’s vast user base to “crowdsource” their location. If you leave an item with an AirTag attached to it and another user with an iOS device passes by, the location will be reported to an app known as Find My.

But recently, several instances of AirTags being used for stalking have been reported to the authorities. Apple has been trying to tackle the issue, reassuring that they are doing their best to ease safety concerns using software patches. Whether such solutions are enough is a topic for another day. The truth is, stalking seems to be on the rise recently, And modern technology plays a big role in enabling such behaviors.

Are you worried about modern stalking methods?

Stalking is not a new practice. The image of someone waiting in the bushes with a pair of binoculars lurking in the background as the primary antagonist has somewhat been romanticized in popular media. It is a major issue that comes as the other side of the coin where modern tech is concerned, is how it is ever-present in daily applications.

Snap Map, for example, is a live map feature that reports your last recorded location to your friends through the popular messaging platform Snapchat.

The popular gay dating app Grindr (or bisexual or bicurious) is another platform where stalking takes place and can be a bit more dangerous since other users in your area can see your distance right down to the exact meter, and you cannot be selective about it. Without further ado, here is the first question in our poll of the week:

As fun as it may be to locate your friends for a quick chat, such services come with the risk that someone finds out your location with possibly uncomfortable outcomes, even if there is no malicious intent or an actual confrontation.

But I am curious about how are tech-savvy NextPitters tackle such issues. How do you feel about the progress of tracking devices and services that are widely available?

If you ask me, it is all about control. I can control who sees my Instagram and Snapchat stories, but with the development of crowdsourced geolocation tech, I cannot help but be alarmed: I simply cannot know if I am being stalked.

Apple’s solutions do little to help me feel safer. Downloading an app that checks whether there is a foreign AirTag around arouses suspicion of one being tracked, which may be a little bit too late.

When it comes to solutions, I cannot see one for commercial trackers apart from a complete ban. What about you? Do you agree with that? Or is there a solution to the tracker problem that I’ve missed out on? Let me know in the comments!

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