It appears that as time progresses privacy is becoming increasingly a thing of the past. There are phone applications for almost everything now and each one is usually tracking your behavior in some way. Whether an app is watching your location, the way you tap your touchscreen or your eye movement (a feature of the new Samsung smartphones that are coming), it is becoming increasingly clear that advertising agencies are almost obsessed with monetizing our behavior. I personally thought that these were extremely invasive activities. Now, however, there is a new application that will track your actual emotions; it is called Emotion Sense.
EmotionSense was developed by a Cambridge research team consisting of 8 individuals; Cecilia Mascolo, Jason Rentfrow, Neal Lathia, Kiran Rachuri, Mirco Musolesi, Chloe Brown, Chris Longworth and Andrius Aucinas. This app is currently available on the Google Play Android Marketplace.
If you are actually interested in downloading this app you can get it here. The point of this article, although very interesting news, does condemn the invasive nature of this application.
So how exactly does the Emotion Sense application work?
Basically, what this app does at face value is collect a lot of personal data by making you complete simple surveys that ask you about your overall mood at various times throughout your day. When the application is ready for you to complete a survey a small icon will show up in your notice alert bar. The icon will look about as harmless as a text message. Basically, as time passes and you take more and more surveys, this app will develop an accumulated knowledge of your emotions based on the sensory info and data that this application captures combined with the surveys you take. You will of course be able to view this information and fundamentally gauge your emotions over time.
The big question here is this; What exactly is the sensory data that the Emotion Sense application is tracking?
Here comes the part that I find controversial. This phone application doesn't just track your location, it also tracks every way that you interact with your phone and the information that your phone can obtain in every way possible. Emotion Sense tracks everything including the noises around you by recording sound, your physical location, the way you interact with your phone via touch, the websites you visit, your phone calls and conversations, your texts and text messaging patterns, your personal routines and behaviors, it will track your eye movement on the new Samsung Galaxy S4, it will access your personal Facebook information if you log in via Facebook and much more.
The advertisements used to promote Emotion Sense claim that this app is like a "pocket therapist" and that you can use this app to help develop a better sense of your own emotions and state of well being. Do people actually buy that load of garbage?
I am sure of course that you could use this data to know things about yourself that you might not have known before, but at what price?
This app will literally track EVERYTHING that you do and say in the presence of your smart phone.
The research team will use this data to pry in to your life to understand how you interact with your phone for one reason only; Marketing. This data will NOT belong to you once it is recorded. All the data that they store will be used to develop a more intrusive understanding of your behavior. They will than sell that data to companies involved in advertising, like Google, Microsoft and Chitika, who will than in turn use this data to develop more targeted marketing capabilities. This application was created purely for capitalizing on your behavior by spying on EVERYTHING that you do.
This application, if used, will truly end whatever illusion of privacy you may have once had while around your smart phone. In fact, even if you are around someone else's smart phone, text or call a friend who has Emotion Sense on their phone, Emotion Sense will record all the sounds and conversations that you have with and around that person whether you like it or not. It will also record texts that you have with another person who has this app installed. So this app not only invades a willing parties privacy while using it, it also invades the privacy of the people around a person with this app downloaded on their phone.
This should be a illegal!
Having an application that records people around it should be a violation of privacy laws. What if someone comes to your home with this application on their phone? What about in public? What about while using the restroom or having a conversation you thought was private? I have heard very little in the news surrounding Emotion Sense and I am surprised at that. There are several blogs and news related websites that speak positively about this application. They were not doubt paid to do so. I can not imagine how a normal person could view this app positively. How could any citizen of this world view an invasive application positively? The Emotion Sense phone and tablet application spies on its users and overly, if not falsely, advertises itself as an app that is therapeutic. How much do people have to know about themselves? Would a person really shed what little privacy we have left in the 21st century for a dimwitted sense of emotional satisfaction? Is it really worth it?
Do not download Emotion Sense!
As far as I am concerned we all have individual rights and if you want to be spied upon than the choice is yours. If, however, you care about your privacy more so than having access to an archive of your emotions than do yourself a favor and do NOT download the Emotion Sense application.
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