Wednesday, January 5, 2011

iPad Knows What You Did Last Summer

I've recently enabled MobileMe on a number of iPads purchased for staff and students - because I can. But should I?

MobileMe has enabled me to pinpoint the current location of the iPads to within a few meters. I can also create friendly reminders to return the device that popup on the screen. A very useful service - depending on your point of view perhaps...

One of the iPads has just gone on summer holidays interstate with a teacher while they learn how to use it. It's possible for me to map the holiday travels of the iPad with dates and times.

As we move towards an Internet of Things I wonder about privacy and ethical implications of being able to monitor and track devices, objects, any-thing, anyone.

The MobileMe Find My iPad service gives the option to play a sound for two minutes, lock the device and even delete files. One can imagine that once iPads and iPhones have screen-side cameras the iPad will be able to take some holiday snapshots of it's users and surroundings. I believe this service is already available for laptops with webcams.

I'll arrange a discussion with the teachers once they have returned from the summer holidays. It will be interesting to see if they decide to use the iPad location service. I've decided to use it for my iPhone and iPad - just in case I lose them while on holiday :-)

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