Filed under: Civil Rights, Connections, General Musings, Government, Predictions, Privacy, RFID, Science, Science Fiction, Society, tech, Travel, Writing stuff | Tags: blogging, cell phone, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, jim downey, predictions, privacy, science, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well, technology, tracking, travel
So, as I am constantly blathering about, I’m spending a lot of time thinking through various aspects of St. Cybi’s Well. Things like characters, plotting, fitting in the storyline with what is already established in Communion of Dreams (while still making sure that the book can stand on its own, without someone having read Communion). Well, one of those things concerns an instance where someone wants to not be readily located. Which is a little harder in today’s world than most people realize, given two things: general surveillance, and the homing-device you’re probably carrying in your pocket.
Yeah, I’m talking about your cell phone/mobile device/tablet. Anything which can connect to a cell network or GPS is probably also capable of being used to track you. And chances are, it will do so even if it is ostensibly “turned off.” About the only good way to be certain to stop this use is to pull the battery out of the thing.
And that’s a PITA, if you want to be able to actually use it without a delay and hassle of installing the battery then booting the thing up.
So the other day I sent a note to a good buddy of mine who has a lot more physics/technical knowledge than I do:
Second, a thought I had: since privacy is a concern, and your cell phone is a tracking device even when ‘off’ (but it’s a hassle to have to pull out the battery and then reboot the damned thing if you need it), why not go with a simple solution to isolate it? To wit: turn the phone off (or put it into ‘airplane mode’), drop it into a small Faraday cage. Just a simple bag or wallet with the right construction would do it. I know there are such things for use with passports/credit cards (I use a wallet for such when traveling overseas), so why not just extend the design a bit to accommodate a phone/tablet?
I got back a response which indicated that it should work, though you may need to tweak the construction specifics to be sure to block out the proper wavelengths most effectively.
And today, just for grins, I went to look for something like this. Guess what I found, which is just now available (actually, it won’t ship for a couple weeks):
Go Completely Off the Grid
This cleverly designed, superslim pouch for your wallet and phone blocks transmissions, as well as cell-tower and GPS tracking, and protects personal information from RFID readers. Ripstop nylon. Imported.
Bingo. Like an invisibility cloak for your phone.
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