Tracking cell phone calls has become endemic in today’s society in both government and domestic circles. What, really, are the moral implications of such actions?
Is It Morally Right To Track Cell Phone Calls?
Back in 1949, George Orwell imagined a dictatorial, totalitarian, all-seeing, omnipresent head-of-Party character called Big Brother. I’ve heard tell that this overbearing, semi-godlike avatar from his “1984” novel was inspired by a 2nd World War educational poster campaign (see Chapter: Purported Origins). Over the years, the term has become synonymous with surveillance from either the government or corporations, partly due to the similarity between Orwell’s “telescreen surveillance” and the mass influx of CCTV and cell phone tapping stories in modern society. Ongoing debates, in all quarters, about whether or not some of this technology might be becoming beneficial have yet to reach a conclusion. In spite of obvious disadvantages (and parallels with a totalitarian state), some of the more domestic uses of cell phone tracking software are becoming worthy of notice – and growing ever more popular.
(Now I’ve taken my sensible hat off!) – Those benefits are so appealing in many ways! Today, not only do the police and other similar organizations have access to means of tracking our phones, but the common man (or woman) can do the same too. A wide range of instruments are available to anyone wanting to keep track of someone’s phone calls, most of them being extremely simple and easy to use.
Now, take note. Caution must be used when undertaking such an action. Privacy is something that must be respected, so be sure to have solid reasons before tapping into a phone and don’t err on the side of unlawfulness. Of course, exceptions to this rule exist. For example, parents are entitled to know the exact whereabouts of their kids, or be informed about whom they talk to and what they talk about. *I will have to insert a caveat here that would mention that the parent should be both paying for the phone and possibly informing and getting their child to sign a disclaimer before monitoring the said cell phone. There have been legal cases where this has become important.*
While some may frown upon this, considering the whole idea as a lack of trust in our children, please take a moment to consider the dangers and temptations surrounding our young children and teens in today’s environment – does this course of action seem to be fully justified? I’ll just mention the word “sexting” and leave it at that!
The actual listening or tracking of a phone call can be done with the help of a special piece of software. This is the latest popular method and is much more convenient than the traditional Magnum P.I. method of planting a “bug” somewhere in a listening vicinity. It depends on preferences at the end of the day, but using the method mentioned first is easy, fast, and can be installed on a limitless number of phones. Most programs take only a few minutes to install, somewhere around 5 minutes, and are inconspicuous to such a degree that spying chips, fake cams, plugs and bugs look clumsy.
A cell phone tracker, as these programs are called, does not come for free, but their services can prove to be invaluable. An example of how these tools can be used has already been mentioned. They are able to provide you with basically every bit of information the target phone has. You want to read the SMSs held by that phone, or a caller’s details? Perhaps you wish to keep track of the pictures sent or received and URL’s visited. Even more powerful – after their recent software upgrade, you also have the option of listening to the calls made to and from that phone in real time or record them. These are not ways of ensuring that your kids are safe from the information or activities that are not suited for them, but they will allow you to follow up sensibly, firmly and by nipping that behavior in the bud.
Even more, these programs come with the option of knowing where your kid is. This is done via GPS and, again, serves a clear and perfectly reasonable goal. Also, all that data will be available to you even if the originals were deleted from the phone. So, if you ever need to remotely know what your offspring is doing, with whom and where, get a cell phone tracker installed on his or her phone.