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Digital Angel Essay

1409 words - 6 pages

Digital Angel

What is Digital Angel?

Digital Angel is a location and condition system that can alert you of the exact location or people, pets, or objects in real time. When you purchase the system, it comes with a clip-on system monitor and a ThermAlert watch. It will alert you when if the person wearing is in trouble, and since the monitor is accompanied with a Global Positioning System (GPS), you can pinpoint the person's location to 75 feet. You can also check the status of the person at any time of the day through a hotline, or visiting the website. A weekly report is also given showing dates and times, alerts, locations and ambient temperatures.

Clip-On System Monitor and ThermAlert Watch

The purpose of Digital Angel is to monitor the location of a person as well as selected biological functions, find a person, animal or object anywhere in the world at anytime, and to advise subscribers of precise geographical location and biological and other sensory data on a real-time basis. It is made especially for children who may get lost, seniors suffering from Alzheimer's and other conditions resulting in diminished cognitive skills, causing them to wander from time to time, and pets that may leave your property.

In order for Digital Angel to accomplish these things, they use a series of sensors and alerts. The sensors monitor the body temperature, blood oxygen levels, location, and can detect if the person suddenly falls (with an inertia sensor). In the event that the sensors read data that need attention, parents/caregivers, authorized EMS, and local authorities can be alerted. Minutes after an event, the Digital Angel will automatically alert you through cell phone (if it has an e-mail address), personal computer, text pager, or personal digital assistant (PDA). If there is no response after the e-mail notification has been made, a customer care representative will contact you by phone. Digital Angel is currently working on other sensors that will be able to read EKG and EEG, other blood chemistry (such as glucose monitoring), ambient temperature, blood pressure, sound, vibration, and parts proximity pressure.

Ethical Issues

One of the main issues brought up in putting this sort of product out to the public is the privacy issue. There is somebody who knows where the user is, every second of every day. With this, great deal of privacy and security is at risk. This kind of knowledge is very tempting for those who may not have the best intentions. Management may misuse or sell the information that the product provides. People have almost no protection from businesses that want to use your personal records for profit, so who is to stop them from doing it? The GPA can be used to develop precisely targeted information concerning thier personal habits. Hackers also may be able to access information for their own personal gain.

Another issue brought up is the reliance on...

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