Monday, November 5, 2007

Transparent Life Path

Interesting or not, but fascinating. Your life can be traced back and probably will be 100% traceable in the near future. Due to power of all the electronic gadgets, computers, payment and banking systems, security systems, and any other tracking and recording system or devices out there, I think we can put our daily, monthly, annual or life path on the Google map, lol, that may also include photos; and with that I think that we can also have our daily routine outlined to minute detail and exact location.

Let see how this can happen by looking at this extreme example.

It is Monday morning April 29, 2007. Jane woke up and noticed that she is late for work. She picked up up her Blackberry and sent a text message at 9:00 am to her co-worker letting her know that she will be in the office pass 12:00 pm. Jane's work place is about 75 km away from home. She got ready, but then she also realized that there are few errands to do. During breakfast, she made a quick list of her errands, one of them she needed to change her dental appointment. At 9:45 am she called dental office to make a change - costs her extra 10 cents for this call, I think in the near future it is time to look for another dentist closer to home. She also made one more call. Jane called jewelry store which she decided to visit on the way to work. Right after she left her apartment, and headed for the toll highway entering around 10:15 am, and she got off about 10:45 am heading for the Central Mall. She needed to get a gift for her friends birthday for this coming weekend. She goes to jewelry store, picked nice gold necklace and paid with the Master Card. On the way from the mall she decided to get a cup of Tim Horton coffee, she ensured to take the receipt so she can get her money back from work. Jane is now back on the toll highway at 11:30 am heading for work, she is going to make it for 12 pm. Well, well, major accident on the next exit, and she is now moving slow in traffic. At 11:45 am Jane passed by the accident scene, wow was a major one, so Jane took her digital camera and snapped few pictures to show at work. Finally she got off the highway at 12:15 pm, and headed for the parking garage about 5 minutes away - fully secured. She entered first set of the security gates where three cameras pointed at her car, and then she entered second security gate where she swiped her security pass exactly 12:22 pm. It takes Jane about 7 minutes to get to her office desk that included 2 more security pass card readers. Jane finally arrived at work, she logins to her computer at 12:30 pm. She only worked to 5:00 pm, because after work she took customer out for dinner. Through out the day she wrote few emails back and forth, sent some text messages, and created few reports. Exactly at 5:00 pm Jane left from the office exactly same way out as she came in. The restaurant is mid point between her work place and home. Her reservation was for 6:00 pm. Dinner was really nice and it ended at 8:00 pm, she paid with her Corporate Visa Card. Jane headed home, same route she took to work. She got home, her apartment is on the 10th floor, and since it is now after hours, she had to use special security gates with cameras, and press special access code to enter. She got home, sent quick text message to her boss that the dinner meeting was successful. Day turned out to be very busy for Jane, however, she still had time to make for herself cup of tea, and blog for a while. She ensured that she was in bed by 11:00 pm so she can get up and get to work on time.

Now to make this story more exciting, Jane is a crime suspect and the crime investigation team is looking into Jane's day routine for April 29, 2007. They were able to get access to her security pass login records, credit card information, computer at work and at home, and everything else like phone records, toll highway records or security camera videos. The following is Jane's day routine based on the external electronic records and Jane's brief description of her day to the police. The task force submitted the following report to the team leader of this investigation.

08:59 Jane woke up (location: home; time estimated)
09:00 Jane sent text message (location: home; source: Blackberry)
09:45 Jane called dental office (location: home; source: Long Distance Telephone Bill)
09:50 Jane called gift store (location: home; source: Police obtained Telephone Records)
09:55 Jane enters parking garage (location: home parking garage; source: Garage Security Camera)
10:15 Jane enters toll highway (location: 100; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
10:45 Jane exited toll highway (location: exit 101; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
11:00 Jane paid for the gold necklace (location: Central Mall; source: Master Card Records)
11:05 Jane paid for Tim Horton Coffee (location: Central Mall; source: Tim Horton Receipt)
11:20 Jane left Central Mall parking garage (location: Central Mall; source: Parking Security System)
11:30 Jane entered toll highway (location: 110; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
11:45 Jane took photo of the accident scene (location 111; source: Digital Camera)
12:15 Jane exited toll highway (location: 112; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
12:20 Jane entered workplace parking garage (location: workplace; source: Parking Security System)
12:22 Jane passed 1st security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
12:25 Jane passed 2nd security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
12:27 Jane passed 3rd security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
12:30 Jane login into her work computer (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
13:00 Jane received text message 1 (location: workplace; source: Blackberry)
13:15 Jane created office memo 1 (location: workplace; source: MSWord File Date and Time Code)
13:30 Jane sent email to customer (location: workplace; source: Outlook Date and Time Code)
15:00 Jane wrote customer report 1 (location: workplace; source: PowerPoint Date and Time Code)
16:05 Jane wrote customer report 2 (location: workplace; source: PowerPoint Date and Time Code)
16:45 Jane send personal email from yahoo (location: workplace; source: Yahoo Email Date and Time Code)
16:50 Jane send text message to customer that she is meeting for dinner (location: workplace; source: Blackberry)
17:00 Jane logout from her work computer (location: workplace; source: Workplace Network System)
17:04 Jane passed 1st security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
17:07 Jane passed 2nd security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
17:11 Jane passed 3rd security check (location: workplace; source: Workplace Access Security System)
17:20 Jane exited workplace parking garage (location: workplace; source: Parking Security System)
17:25 Jane entered toll highway (location: 113; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
17:45 Jane exited toll highway (location: 114; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
17:55 Jane arrived at the restaurant (location: Mamma's Place; source: Parking Security System)
18:00 Jane met with customer (location: Mamma's Place; source: Reservation Log)
20:05 Jane paid for dinner (location: Mamma's Place; source: Corporate Visa Card Records)
20:10 Jane left parking lot (location: Mamma's Place; source: Parking Security System)
20:30 Jane entered toll highway (location: 115; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
20:10 Jane exited toll highway (location: 116; source: Toll Highway Electronic System)
21:15 Jane arrived apartment garage (location: home; source: Garage Security Camera System) 22:00 Jane sent text message to their boss (location: home; source: Blackberry)
22:05 Jane logins to her home computer (location: home; source: Personal Computer)
22:20 Jane posted on her blog (location: home; source: Blogger)
22:45 Jane commented on blog 1 (location: home; source: Blogger)
22:55 Jane commented on blog 2 (location: home; source: Wordpress)
23:00 Jane headed for bed (location: home; source: Jane's word)

Since the estimated time for the crime was between 5:00 and 6:00 pm, it could not have been Jane as per above investigated outline, and the location was way out. Jane is cleared from the crime suspect list.

Imagine that. Yes your life can be traced, may be not like Jane's, but similarly. Indirect data about you can be obtained from your computer records, from your photo images (date and time code), your blog posts so make sure you don't' post during work hours, lol, your credit/debit cards, your banking, your cash receipts if you keep them, your created files (date and time code), medical office log books, reservation logs, toll highways, mobile phones, telephone records, emails, mail packages, and other records such diplomas received, your notes, neighbors notes, others photos, other witnesses. And I am not mentioning search engine tracking your searching habits, cookies, online purchases, online banking, etrading, logins, posts, discussion posts and many many other Internet activities. Yes the list is big, and yes we are very transparent. The question is do we want to be that transparent? For me it really doesn't matter, as long as all my personal stuff is secured. However, as far as knowing my life routine, I don't really care if someone is watching, I am sure someone would want to dig if I was only famous.

Therefore, only if you hide away from the society the transparency goes away, however, that one photo snap by someone else can place you in exact location, exact date and time. So no, you cannot get away 100%.

Lastly, did you know that your computer data is never removed from the computer, even when you deleted all the files you don't want someone to see. Only physical destruction of the computer will destroy everything - like hammering or subjecting your computer to very strong magnetic fields.


  1. Hi! I find it frightening and exciting at the same time. We live in an electronic and almost paperless society. With it comes the bad and the good.

    Identity theft concerns me the most.

    But it does have a number of positive aspects to it.

    It assists in locating missing persons. Face recognition systems can pick someone out of a crowd. Its already been used to establish the whereabouts of terrorists and criminals prior to and after their criminal activities.

    GPS systems assist in locating missing vessels, aircraft and people. Stolen vehicles that may have hostages in them can also be tracked using this system.

    I could go on but that's enough to show that there is a positive side
    to gadgets.

    I don't have a problem with them as long as they are used for the right purpose.

    In a nutshell, if it all goes wrong, we shouldn't blame the gadgets, we should blame the people that use them inappropriately.


  2. Glory to God! Anna, for the contribution, I want you to understand that there are so many magical and mystical healers all over the world, I went online to see if I could find stuffs to covince you on these things that not all are "science" I just decided to give you these addresses,,,

    Also the fact that some pastors who purport to be miracle workers are doing it with the powers of the devil and not the Power of God, there are so many pastors in africa that try to mimic the healing pattern of Benny Hinn Ministeries(which is real) for the Bible says that by their fruits we you shall know them"
    we see these things and alot of people come from these fake healing services where the pastors use demonic powers to perform miracles look at this example in the Bible where there where some who tried to immitate the powers of the apostles in perfoming miracles... Acts 19:13-16 13 A team of Jews who were traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus. The incantation they used was this: "I command you by Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!"
    14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this.
    15 But when they tried it on a man possessed by an evil spirit, the spirit replied, "I know Jesus, and I know Paul. But who are you?"
    16 And he leaped on them and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and badly injured.
    Also check this out too so you would understand that long ago they have been in the act of immmitating the power of God...
    Acts 13:6-11 6 Afterward they preached from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus.
    7 He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, a man of considerable insight and understanding. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God.
    8 But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Saul and Barnabas said. He was trying to turn the governor away from the Christian faith.
    9 Then Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked the sorcerer in the eye and said,
    10 "You son of the Devil, full of every sort of trickery and villainy, enemy of all that is good, will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord?
    11 And now the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be stricken awhile with blindness." Instantly mist and darkness fell upon him, and he began wandering around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him.
    lest i forget anna the Issue here is to tell everybody that only through the Name of Jesus can we be saved. Acts 4:12 12 There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them."

    thanks alot my dear hope to hear from you soon
    on this post it is scary but I guess that
    the life! God help us

  3. Greetings in the Name of the lord!!! Anna, I'd prefer we discussed this over nice cup of tea and cookies/cake LOL,
    Anna do you know what you are to me? a true friend and a sister... I must say am impressed at the lenghty comments full of insight and wisdom.
    I believe in science alot because I know that God gave man the wisdom to do all things through Christ taht strengthen us.
    I totally agree with you and would love for you to keep your views coming for the benefit of the kingdom.
    I always talk about you to my husband and any time I talk about you my face lit up, as if we have met cos you show us so much love and time in this time and age where people are after me, me, me.
    thanks for the comment

  4. Anna, I knew this was happening but not to that extent. Thanks for the eye opener!!!'

    Hugs, JJ

  5. Hey Anna,

    I absolutely loved this post!

    It is appalling to see that one's life can be so monitorised *frowning*! But the good news were that at least she was removed from the suspect list, because of those life-records...

    I don't know if I would like to be that monitorised, that transparent...well, here in Portugal we are not that transparent yet, but in places like London (well, the UK) it is impossible to be invisible cause even the streets have camera surveillance (if it happens that someone has her underwear stuck in between the buttocks, those cameras will shoot you putting them in place lol), I wonder if they also have them in public toilets...

    Yeah, I knew that the info that we delete in our computer doesn't really go away: it remains in the hard disk (otherwise how could the police do their job, right?).


  6. Hi Peter. I agree with you. I absolutely love the technology and what it can do. I don't really mind the transparency, because at the same time we get so many other benefits, and in fact the information can travel so fast to our benefit. The face recognition is really cool. I see it on the movies all the time, and one day what was science fiction will be or almost is reality.

    Currently I am looking for good GPS for hiking/biking. I tell you the truth, I just don't have sense of direction, I get disoriented really fast, and next thing I am going in the opposite direction, lol, or even driving in the opposite direction. But I want the one that can record all my walking path, so I have a record. I am scary that way, but I really like collecting data, and sometimes apply statistics - stupid as it sounds, but just silly stuff like how fast I was walking, looking at better efficient walking paths, etc. - yes this is the engineering side talking, lol.

    And yes I agree with you as long it is used for the right purpose, and yes it is the user and not the gadget that should be blamed if something goes wrong.

    The identity theft is scary, but better education can prevent us from being victims. I am very precautious if comes to that, I actually still am hesitant to shop on line. I have this allocated visa card with very low limit that I use for small purchases. But I cannot wait until we will be more secured, because I rather go to the park as opposed to the shopping mall, lol. Anna :)

    Thanks for your always valuable comments Peter!

  7. channelofhealing, thanks for all your support and keeping me always informed. Your inputs and ideas, and believes are always appreciated. I guess you know follow up comment to this comment, on your blog, I am honored that too that we became good blogger friends, and that cup of tea with cookies is looking good, lol. Anna :)

  8. No problem JJ, anything I can do to help, lol. Thanks for your comment, Anna :)

  9. Hi Max, you made me laugh about the surveillance camera, that was funny. I see that sometimes on TV when they have an event and accidentally they record someone, simple stuff like 'scratching your nose' - if you know what I mean, and next you are on the national television, lol. Glad that you guys don't have that transparency yet in Portugal. Like I told Peter above, I actually don't mind it. I guess I have to always think though, oh someone is watching, but then I grew up in the environment, when they told us that God was watching us all the time, so this is really not that much different, we just have people watching people, lol. Yeah, at first I was little paranoid knowing that data cannot really be deleted from your computer, but then why do I have to worry, I have nothing to hide, and most of my life stories, the hidden gems of my life, are now being exposed on blog and told to the whole world.

  10. Hello Anna,

    lol Yeah, but God doesn't mind if we scratch our nose, or our buttocks lol (and we don't mind that He does see us, cause after all He is our Creator, right?)!

    You are right, if one doesn't have anything to hide, what's the problem?

    No, Portugal is a relaxed country (not too much violence, nothing ever happens, our judiciary police catches all the bad guys...ok, we had a bad episode recently in Algarve, but's a quiet country)!

    I am glad I made you laugh :).


  11. Investigators often make a mistake—and many mistakes are based on “fact.” Here’s what I mean: Jane could have been in a location that was close to the crime scene but that was not tracked, documented. She could have been engaged in an activity that was not tracked and recorded and so investigators would not remove her from the suspect list. If her record didn’t show anything for that time frame, she could still be a suspect. If no one found more compelling evidence then Jane could have been convicted, even if she was not the criminal, because she was doing something that did not track her exact whereabouts. I’ve seen instances where people are incriminated based on near facts like this, but the person is not guilty. Supposedly though, facts are facts and that’s that. A log that doesn’t cite her exact whereabouts at the time of a crime could be proof enough to indict someone, even when they’re innocent. It’s even more prevalent now in the USA, now that the Patriot Act has cut into citizens’ rights of privacy as outlined in the Constitution.

  12. Hey Anna,

    You have been awarded:


  13. Wow Anna, you put a lot of work into this post! I am not really worried about transparency either, but this story did make me think.

    I think the way computer disks work is that when you delete something the space occupied by that information is available for new info. The old info is still there until it is actually overwritten. I think there are programs you can buy that really do erase the info permanently right from the start. I am not an expert though, and have never worried about things I delete on my computers. This is just what I have heard over the years, but to me if I delete it and no longer have to look at it, that's gone enough for me!


  14. awomansblog, wow you really read my post, I didn't really expected everyone to read in such a detail as you did, it is appreciated, and I guess I missed few things when I was writing it. Well that transparent life is becoming more and more visible, and in the criminal justice it still strongly depends on who is working on the investigation, meaning, a person who pays attention to detail, or someone sloppy. Even with that system we can easily screw things up and put wrong people behind the bars and wrong people on the streets. Thank you so much for your well constructed comments. Anna :)

  15. Max, my friend thank you for the award, it is really appreciated, and you deserve them all. So the more I surf the net, and more I see and hear about Portugal, the more I would like to see it one day. Oh may be one day I will pack my bags and go, lol, Anna :)

  16. Hi Will, and thanks. It took me about two hours to write it. But I been thinking about it for a long time. About files being deleted forever, I think you are right there are software that can do that, but I still think deep deep down it is recoverable. But then I don't worry about it either, I have nothing really to hide, just stuff that belong to me. Thanks, and glad that your shoulder is getting better, and no more playing with highschool kids okay, lol. Anna :)

  17. Anna,

    You are most welcome; besides you deserve it :)!

    Yes, do come to Portugal: it's a lovely country :)! You'll like it!



And now lets hear your blobbing, lol!