Compulsory location indicators in cellphones

Adam Bennett at NZ Herald reports:

Technology allowing police and other authorities to identify the location of callers may become mandatory for all cellphones in New Zealand in a move to improve the 111 emergency calling system.

But although the proposal could save lives, Telecom and the Commissioner have rung alarm bells.

The mandatory global positioning system (GPS) idea was raised in a discussion paper reviewing the 111 system issued yesterday by Communications Minister Amy Adams.

Umm, no.

I’ve chosen to have GPS on my cellphone. Personally I like the idea of the authorities being able to trace me in case of emergency. Hell, I’m even on Foursquare, so I boroadcast my location to several hundred people.

But that is my choice. Equally I should have the choice of being able to use a cellphone that does not indicate my location.

Once the Government has the ability to detect your location via your cellphone for one purpose (a noble one), there is a slippery slope that they will want to use it for other purposes.

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