Creative Commons licensed photo by Mark Latonero

Chances are you re carrying around a smartphone and using it for all sorts of things including texting, checking email, navigation and finding a place to spend the night when traveling.

For you it probably feels like a lifeline, but for refugees making the dangerous journey from Syria and other war torn countries to safer havens in Europe, it literally is a lifeline.

As Wired documented, Many of these displaced people rely upon smartphones to find safe passage.

Maps and GPS help chart the best course.

Mark Latonero

For the most part, this is a positive aspect to an otherwise desperate situation, but, as Data and Society Research Institute Fellow Mark Latonero points out, The tools that underpin this passage provide many benefits, yet are also used to exploit refugees and raise questions about surveillance.

In another essay, Latonero warns about surveillance.

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