Another Reason To Turn Off Your Smartphone Wi-Fi Radio

Turning off the Wi-Fi radio in your smartphone while you travel is not just to save on battery power. It can save you from the bad guys as well. But never mind the negative aspects of being tracked by the digital bad guys. Something called Navizon I.T.S. is being used in malls by security companies, airports and of course those "undisclosed" groups. They use the Navizon I.T.S. system to do good things as well, such as locate a doctor inside a hospital, no matter where he or she is.
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The system is a marketing dream for those who own malls. The foot traffic, new visitor, old visitors, route of shopping and a host of other variants can be logged into a database for future use. The Navizon I.T.S. only needs to "hear" the Wi-Fi radios of the smartphones in the vicinity to do its work. As with most electronic tools, the system does not identify by personal name, it is tracking the smartphone, not the user of the smartphone. But with the smartphone being carried around like car keys, the build up of information is relevant to those who want to know what people are doing when they visit the mall. The Navizon program will not work on a smartphone that does not have its Wi-Fi radio turned on. The iOS ( iPhone ) and Android mobile operating systems have settings to turn this off if needed. Doing so will help save battery life as well as prevent profiling by the Navizon I.T.S. system.

Navizon has ways to personalize the information they receive "over the air". This supposedly can only happen with permission of the smartphone user. They call it the "Magic Touch" and in one of their demonstrations shows the software identifying a smartphone. After the validation, the user can then log in their name on the computer doing the tracking. From that moment, the data is attached to a person and the triangulation abilities of the software can locate the person. As with most tools, this software can be used for good or for evil. The Navison system has similarities to the Skyhook "Spotrank" system and the Bluetooth beacon system that is set to come to market soon. If this software falls into the wrong hands it could make it very easy for thieves to profile a neighborhood, thanks to most of that neighborhood having smartphones. Here is hoping that never happens. For now, it may be a good idea to not broadcast your position to the world with your Wi-Fi equipped smartphone. It will help you save battery energy as well.

Oh, by the way, what do you and airplanes have in common? If you have a Wi-Fi equipped smartphone, you are both broadcasting your position.



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