Thursday, November 15, 2012
Smartphones can be annoying, what with the Instagrammed photos of last night’s tuna casserole popping up everywhere. But what if your phone was also a leash the government uses to keep track of your every move?
Monterey College of Law students are set to debate the privacy issue in front of several California judges at this year’s Heisler Moot Court, a 26-year-old tradition that aims to engage the community in the pressing constitutional issues of the day.
The Orwellian nightmare isn’t implausible in these days of heightened national security and blurred privacy lines – lines even less clear in the aftermath of the FBI’s review of former CIA Director David Petraeus’s private emails.
Some of it is already happening, says Michael Stamp, a Monterey attorney and Monterey College of Law professor. California police use smartphones to track people, although “nobody really knows how much they’re using it and what they’re using it for,” he says.
Stamp, director of the moot court, says police now use “predictive behavior analysis” to figure out where people might be, based on smartphone data.
“When you drive home, they have your address,” he says. “When you get a haircut, they have your address.”
The Heisler Moot Court is 7:30pm Friday at CSUMB World Theater. Free. www.montereylaw.edu/heisler-moot-court.