El problema con las aplicaciónes basadas en la localización

Los teléfonos inteligentes son aparatos maravillosos. No los utilizamos solamente para llamar, enviar mensajes y correos electrónicos, sino que se han estado convirtiendo rápidamente en nuestras cámaras para salir, reproductores de música, artículos portátiles para jugar y una línea vital para todo: desde nuestras cuentas bancarias hasta para enterarnos de las últimas noticias y el estado del clima. Y, debido a su posibilidad de ser reconocidos y rastreados por servicios de localización, los teléfonos inteligentes se han vuelto ayudas muy confiables para viajar, remplazando a muchos aparatos de GPS por sí solos en los automóviles de pasajeros y demás vehículos. Durante los pasados dos años, esta capacidad de localizar de manera precisa los teléfonos inteligentes por medio de los sistemas de GPS y las redes celulares y de Wi-Fi, ha ocasionado una proliferación de aplicaciones con base en la localización, o sea ésos pequeños programas que utilizan el lugar donde se encuentra el usuario para proporcionar información y servicios adicionales. Sin embargo, a pesar de la utilidad de aplicaciones de navegación o de servicios para localizar restoranes como UrbanSpoon y Yelp, las aplicaciones basadas en la localización pueden representar algunas áreas de preocupación para los propietarios de teléfonos inteligentes. El primer asunto a considerar es la privacidad. Por definición, las aplicaciones basadas en un lugar funcionan por medio de rastrear tu localización. Esto es totalmente aceptable cuando estás buscando activamente direcciones o algún lugar para comer, peo quizás no sean tan bien recibidas cuando estás en tu casa descansando o visitando la escuela de tu hijo. El segundo asunto que hay que tomar en cuenta es la habilidad de algunos proveedores de aplicaciones para realizar un perfil de tu uso del móvil para fines de publicidad. Aunque el rastreo de teléfonos inteligentes para la mercadotecnia dirigida está en pañales, la meta final es incluir el uso del teléfono móvil junto con la actividad en las computadoras de escritorio para comprender los intereses y las preferencias de compra de los usuarios. La utilización de aplicaciones basadas en la localización y el responder a anuncios locales puede añadir detalles importantes a ese perfil del usuario. El asunto final en el que hay que pensar acerca de las aplicaciones con base en la localización es el consumo de la batería. Aun cuando no estén en uso, muchas de estas aplicaciones están actualizando constantemente información de GPS o buscando puntos de acceso al Wi-Fi para señalar, de manera más precisa, la localización del teléfono. Aunque esto sea menos preocupante que los asuntos de privacidad mencionados, este consumo constante de la batería de tu teléfono no es menos irritante. Una forma de evitar estos asuntos es utilizando la configuración de tu teléfono inteligente para anular los servicios de localización cuando no los necesites. La mayor parte de los teléfonos inteligentes tienen una característica dedicada a la localización en el menú de Configuración, la cual te permitirá apagar los servicios de localización en red, así como servicios de terceros para las aplicaciones integradas o descargadas. Otra forma es borrar o desinstalar las aplicaciones basadas en localización que no utilices. De nueva vez, la mayor parte de los sistemas operativos de los teléfonos inteligentes te permiten hacerlo por medio de la opción de “Settings”. Haz clic en Aplicaciones  y verás una lista de todas las aplicaciones que has descargado. El hacer clic en cada aplicación individual te dirá qué permiso has dado, incluyendo la posibilidad de rastrear tu localización. Aunque no hay escasez de aplicaciones basadas en la localización que pueden ofrecer muchos beneficios importantes a los usuarios de los teléfonos inteligentes  y sus familias, es importante pensar en cómo y cuándo usarlos para obtener el  mayor beneficio y la máxima diversión al mismo tiempo que proteges tu privacidad.

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