The ‘Father Of GPS’ Really Doesn’t Like Having His Location Tracked
About 40 years ago, when Brad Parkinson and his team of civil engineers were putting together the first specifications for a radar signal called GPS, he sketched out some predictions of how their new technology might be used in the future, writes Parmy Olson on Forbes.com. One of his charts, drawn on plain paper in 1978, showed a navigation system for cars.
Another also correctly showed machines that could autonomously monitor crop fields. But one use case he didn’t foresee: companies exploiting the system to quietly track hundreds of million of people through their smartphones.
“I don’t like that at all,” he told Forbes on Tuesday, after receiving the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering in London, which he shared with three other engineers. “It’s not that I’m doing something that is illegal — I just don’t like the idea of continuously being tracked by anybody.”