May 21st, 2012

REMINDER: Mobile Portland discusses what happens when the robots win


REMINDER: Mobile Portland discusses what happens when the robots win

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Mobile Portland is the best thing going around here, right now. And now, Mobile Portland is even more mobile. They’ve moved the gathering to tonight, because the last Monday of the month is Memorial Day.

And what better topic than discussing how your smart devices are more sentient than you think?

Ken Westin, founder of GadgetTrak, will be revealing more than you want to know about that robot in your pocket. It’s not quite SKYNET, yet. But it’s getting close.

Every day our smartphones, laptops and other devices transmit invisible bytes of data across networks around the world, leaving a deep and permanent digital footprint. Some of this data we are aware of, such as information we post on social networks, or sharing GPS coordinates with a mapping app to locate the nearest restaurant. However, there is a less visible layer of data that at first may seem innocuous, but once aggregated can provide fragments of data that can be reticulated to unveil information regarding identity, location and other potentially invasive and incriminating evidence. This information can be used to solve crimes, as well as abused. Technology is rapidly increasing the rate at which this data is being used by law enforcement, governments, hackers and advertisers alike, with many surprisingly taking advantage of the hazy gray area where antiquated laws and advanced technology meet.

And if anyone is willing to take their device one step closer to sentient, Ken is looking for volunteers.

As always, the event begins Monday at 6PM and is hosted at Urban Airship.

For more information or to RSVP, visit Mobile Portland.

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