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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013

Mini satellites to spy on us 24/7?



By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Have you ever been on Google Earth and zeroed in to see your house or your car? It's a little creepy and kind of neat too…but it's only the beginning of what's to come.

Google Earth is just a snapshot, a pic in time. The New York Times reports we're about to enter era of mini-satellites that will continually photography every inch of Earth. These things are so cheap that one company will launch 28 of them before the year is through to photograph around the clock, around world.

One use is going to be for insurance companies who will subscribe to databases in order to see these images. Say you take a big hit after storm and you say, "My roof was fine before the storm and now it's destroyed." The insurer will be able to look at before and after to contest your claim.

This is yet another instance of private business being able to spy on us with current images of our private property, what's going on in our lives, and maybe even being able to figure out our exact patterns.

The miniaturization of electronics and the development of sophisticated software means what you could never imagine happening in the past will be a part of the near future.

Meanwhile, did you know when you take a picture and post it on social media, it's very easy to track down the exact location of your phone? That's because many of the apps you download to your smartphone automatically turn your GPS on.

The solution is to turn your GPS off, either via a command on your phone as a permanent fix or manually each time before you take a photo and are prompted about GPS.