Last week a new app, which would make it easier to stalk your friends and random people without them knowing, was released to the public. Connect is an iOS and web application that was introduced at the 2014 Launch Festival in San Francisco. The app uses geographic data, social networks and other information available about the person on the web and compiles it into different sets of maps.
To make it clear though, the functions of this web application is something that everyone does on a regular basis already. Just ask anyone who watches, or gets the concept of the MTV show, Catfish. Connect just makes it easier to find all of this information and makes it look pretty on cool maps.
What the app does do differently is call more attention to our growing concerns toward privacy. For the most part, people are beginning to understand that whatever you put on the web is going to be out there for the entire world to see forever.
You can’t truly erase your digital past, and society is finding itself becoming more intertwined with the Internet and developing technologies. However, as we venture further into the future and integrate new technologies that affect how we interpret privacy, law makers and citizens need to sit down and really discuss how this needs to be approached.
Connect only uses Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, Google and LinkedIn to figure out where and who you are, but what about future social media sites and technologies in the future? As more of your personal data, such as medical and financial records added with or without your permission, are added to the growing entity that is the Internet, how will we deal with hacking, stalking, and stealing?
Twenty years ago people would have never imagine an application such as Connect existing. They would have been frightened to know that their child’s lack of understanding about how the Internet works, just in the way Patrick Snay’s daughter cost him $80,000 for revealing that he violated a settlement agreement, would lead them into trouble. Yes, Connect only makes it easier to Internet stalk people, but we also need to start thinking about how people define and better protect their privacy. It’s definitely time to do so before the next privacy encroaching app comes out.