Archive for December, 2019

What Makes Location Tracking A Privacy Concern

Undoubtedly using location-based services like Google maps, taxi services, etc. has made our life easier, however, location tracking or geo-tracking poses some real privacy threats as well. In order to understand these threats, it is first important to understand how this data is collected.

How Is Your Location Tracked?

Location is tracked via your devices such as a laptop, mobile phones, tablets, smart-watches, smart jewelry, etc. In the case of a computer, your IP address can be used to track your location. If you are using a mobile device, the location is tracked via GPS, cellular tower data, Wi-Fi signals, and Bluetooth beacons.

A number of popular apps also track your location such as Google Maps, Facebook, Yelp, Uber, dating apps, etc. Some apps may track your location even after you have turned off location tracking in your mobile settings. A common example is Facebook. The app can track your location by your city mentioned in the profile or check-ins.

Additionally, information about your location is also revealed by the metadata attached to your photos. Most mobile phones and digital cameras embed information such as GPS coordinates or Geotags when you take a photo. When such photos are posted on a social media profile, the embedded information is also shared along.

What Kind Of Information Is Revealed By Location Tracking?

Location tracking can be used to disclose a variety of information:

  • Where do you live
  • Your financial status based on where you live
  • Your place of work
  • The regular route of travel
  • Frequently visited stores
  • Your real-time location
  • If you are on a vacation and where are you staying

These are some common types of information that can be disclosed by location tracking.

Privacy Concerns Caused By Disclosure Of Such Information:

  • Stalking & Harassment: Availability of detailed information about your location increases your risk of being stalked or harassed. If a stalker knows your frequently visited places, he can easily identify a place and the best time to confront you.
  • Robbery: Burglars can get hold of sufficient information about you by eyeing your location tracks. This enables them to know when you won’t be home or if you follow a secluded path to your work. Discloser of such private information puts you in a danger.
  • Contextual Advertizing: Contextual advertizing is a rising problem among social media users. Marketing professionals pay a high price for access to personal information such as location data of individuals. This helps them in understanding the user behavior to modify their advertizing campaign accordingly. This has led to a rise in the number of cyber-criminals trying to track the location of individuals for building databases that can be sold to organizations.
  • Frauds: Fraudsters can gain access to your location data for building and studying your individual profile. This profile helps them to have a sneak-peak in your personal life to fabricate a fraud.

For more information on privacy concerns arising out of location tracking, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Drones In Healthcare

A drone can be defined as an unmanned aircraft that is guided either by remote control or by the computers mounted on it. Although drones have been used for years, there has been a sudden rise in their application. This can be owed to the invent of new technology and the accessibility of this technology to the public. Among other industries, drones have found applications in the healthcare sector as well.

In lieu of the newly found applications, there has been an increase in businesses investing in the production and marketing of drones for healthcare. Following are some of the common uses of drones in healthcare:

Public Health & Medical Investigation: Drones equipped with the specialty cameras and recorders pose as a low-cost mode of conducting surveillance of biological/chemical hazards, disease spread, number of patients in need of support due to an epidemic, etc. Drones have the ability to gather real-time data which helps in improving the efficiency of healthcare response teams in affected areas.

Telemedicine: It is an emerging branch of healthcare. The term is used for the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by employing telecommunication technology. As the efficiency of telemedicine depends upon network availability, drones are being used to establish Instant Telecommunication Infrastructure (ITI). This helps in pre- and post-operative observation of patients, telementoring of surgeries in remote areas.

Medical Transport Systems: Drones are being used as efficient medical transport systems due to their ability to reduce the response time and travel across otherwise unpassable terrains.  The drones are used to carry medical aids such as poison antidotes, oxygen masks, transplant organs, medicines, etc. Drones also help in delivering blood samples to a fully equipped laboratory in a short period of time. This is particularly helpful in high traffic areas or rural areas, where human transportation may take time due to poor construction facility.

Ambulance Drones: Ambulance drones are used to tackle emergency situations such as cardiac arrest where chances of patients’ survival decrease with every passing minute. The emergency support teams send out these drones which are equipped with a cardiac defibrillator and 2-way communication (radio & video) channel. The drone is used to instruct the bystanders on how to use the automated defibrillator, steps to perform CPR and keep an eye on patients’ symptoms until the healthcare team reaches the physical location.

As technology is improving, the applications of drones in the healthcare industry are becoming more deep-rooted.

For more information on drones in the healthcare industry, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Need Of Augmented Reality Strategy For Businesses

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Potential Hurdles Limiting The Internet of Things

There is immense hype surrounding Internet of Things (IoT). However, irrespective of technological advancements and immense benefits offered by IoT, there are some potential challenges that limit the application of IoT. In order to understand these hurdles, it is first important to understand what IoT is and how it works?

IoT is a network of interconnected things, devices, machines, animals or humans that are equipped with sensors, software, network connectivity and necessary electronics which enable them to share, exchange and collect data. The sensors of every connection in the network communicate with a cloud system and send data to it through internet connectivity. Once data is received by cloud, the software processes it to take an action like sending an alert or making adjustments to sensor/device with manual efforts of the user.

Following are the hurdles that limit the use of Internet of Things:

  • Availability Of Internet: Although IoT offers high levels of convenience and technological access to users, but there is a basic internet requirement for IoT to be operational. Undoubtedly, internet access is not considered to be a problem by majority of people, but there are still some areas of world where internet connectivity may be spotty or absent.
  • Expenses: IoT requires placement of sensors on the devices or objects. For implementing this technology to its complete potential, there is a requirement to place sensors on roads, traffic lights, utility grids and buildings. Embedding sensors on all required places is looked upon as a huge expense. Progress has been made to develop cheaper sensors. However, more progress is required before organizations would embrace the technology completely.
  • Privacy & Cyber Security: As the number of cyber security breaches is rising, organizations and individuals are thoroughly concerned about the security related to IoT. If every household item or organizational computer is connected over web, it raises the need for strict cyber security protocols.
  • Data Surge: It is estimated that by 2020, around 26 billion items or objects will be a part of IoT. This will lead to the generation of large amount of data. So, businesses need to invest in new hardware, equipment and data mining techniques for effectively collecting and analyzing data in real time.
  • Consumer Awareness: IoT is a technological buzzword, but still 87% of general public is unaware of the term or its actual meaning. There are chances that people may actually be using the technology in some way and yet be unaware of it. This lack of knowledge may result in loss of interest. However, there has been an increased interest in the use of wearable technology which could act as a gateway for other connected objects.

Irrespective of these hurdles, the number of IoT developers is expected to reach 4.5 million by 2020. This gives a hope for new solutions to these hurdles for facilitating the spread of technology and its applications.

For more information on Internet of Things, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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