Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Buddi system

I'm sure some of you folks will think that this is a good idea.

The Buddi is the brainchild of British tech entrepreneur Sara Murray. One day, Murray's young daughter got lost at the grocery store, and from that experience she decided that there was a need for a personal tracking device using GPS technology. It's a plausible idea - provide children, the elderly, and anyone else who might be vulnerable with a small device worn around the neck that enables them to be found anytime using GPS tracking, and also has buttons that can be used to alert the Buddi staff in an emergency situation. The Buddi is currently on the market in the UK, and a US version will be out soon.

Forgive me, though, if the Buddi concept makes my tinfoil hat twitch a bit. Although the Buddi is voluntary now (and fairly expensive), our concern to protect children from would-be abductors could at some point lead to some sort of mandatory Buddi program. Technology will also continue to make GPS devices smaller, and without the need for periodic recharging. Perhaps someday they'll have one small enough that it can be implanted in babies at birth. I suspect many parents would consider such an implant to be a godsend. Trouble is, the government would then have the ability to track your every step for life.