I decided to test both claims by installing three airtags, three tiles and a GPS tracker on my husband and his luggage so that they could accurately disclose his movements and what he discovered.
Some states, including New York, where we live, have laws criminalizing this type of thing. Didn’t want to break the law, or because of my husband’s faith I asked permission from him.
It wasn’t the first time I had subjected him to my brand experimental reporting. I’ve been covering privacy for over a decade, and I’ve found that the best way to explain the dystopian effects of new technology is to immerse yourself in it, guinea pig-style.
My husband lived with me on Bitcoin, was spied on by our “smart home” and saw me abandon the tech giants. (Saying “I have a job” will not leave him alone, but he agreed to unplug our Amazon Echo.) He is also a professional press freedom advocate, so I was pretty sure he would be in the game.
The Great Reed
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“You can do that,” he said. “But it will be boring. We are in an epidemic. I never go anywhere.”
Our lives are definitely less exciting these days. We practically see no one but each other or my in-laws. At the peak of the epidemic, here is winter in the Northeast, so we are mostly at home. But my husband often leaves the house, and I wanted to track him down when he did.
When an editor one day proposed to send a photographer to secretly follow him face-to-face – to visualize the movement I was digitally tracking – a small part of me was worried that maybe I didn’t want to know something. A little privacy is good for any wedding.
‘In my shoes?’
Thirty minutes after my husband and youngest went to the hospital, I opened the app linked to the most accurate tracker in my arsenal, the $ 30 LandAirSea device. It costs extra to activate it, as it requires a cellular plan to ping the Global Positioning Satellite. I chose the cheapest plan to get location updates every three minutes, 19.95 monthly; The most expensive plan for every three seconds update was $ 49.95.