The Spy in Your Cell Phone
March 28, 2008
Science Daily reported this week that researchers bored with tracking the migration of birds have turned to girls ages 14 to 16. Scientists say they hope to learn where teenage girls go, how they interact with their various environments and what it means to their health. They’ve already discovered that teenage girls who spend a lot of time with boys in the back seats of cars have an increased chance of pregnancy.
“When tracked with GPS we know where the teens are and when they are there but we don’t know what they are doing,” said Sarah Wiehe, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and a former teenager who once experienced a life free of GPS tracking but got an occasional rug burn anyway. “When following up on out-of-wedlock pregnancies we discovered a correlation with the amount of time these girls spent in the back seats of stationary automobiles. We still don’t know what was happening there, but something occurred that caused the girls to become impregnated. We’re requesting more funds from the government for improved spy phones in hope that we can figure out what’s going on.”
Not everyone thinks that trading privacy for scientific data is worth it. “If we’re okay tracking girls by their cell phones and matching health events with their traffic patterns, we’re just asking for a law that requires constant tracking of all of us under the guise that taking away our personal liberty is actually best for our health,” said Susi Que, a pool-stick thin blonde who values personal freedom above government claims of protection through control. “My migratory pattern is my own business.”
Science Daily said in a paper to be published in the April issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, that researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine report on a pilot study which evaluated the feasibility of using global position system-enabled cell phones to track where 14- to 16-year-old girls spent their time.
“Learning that we were able to track their movement is important because previous studies which have looked at the effect of environment on teens have focused only on home, school and surrounding areas,” said Sarah Wiehe, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist. “A person’s environment in some way influences or is at least associated with their health and health outcomes and in the case of adolescents their health behaviors.”
Based on the success of the initial project, the researchers have received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to enroll 160 urban teenage girls in a study to track their movements in spring, summer, fall and winter (to account for seasonal variations). They hope to learn much more about how teenage girls interact with their many environments in ways that impact health.
The CIA is using the better health angle to convince Al Qaeda terrorists to participate in a similar program so they can be secretly tracked down. “We’ve been posting the health benefits of constant monitoring by GPS cell phone-tracking on radical Muslim websites in the Middle East and offering free posters of women in hijabs to the first 5,000 Al Qaeda members who sign up,” said CIA operative Blu Moon, pretending his name was Thomas McGuire. “We’ve started getting some enrollments but so far it’s mostly been by cross-dressing Turkish sailors. We’re still hopeful this can work though.”
In other news, risky behavior among U.S. teens continues as does risky behavior by Al Qaeda members. The definition of “risky” continues to be debated, as does the meaning of “personal freedom.”
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