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Picture the scene. You are supposed to be attending a sales conference in Crewe when you are woken from your slumber by the ring tone from your company-issue mobile phone. ‘I'm here now,' you lie to your boss from the comfort of your hotel bed, safe in the knowledge that she will never know otherwise.
But, alas, your mobile phone uses a new technology which means your boss can pinpoint 5 your exact location.
It is the stuff of slackers' nightmares. But 'location-based tracking' - to use the mobile phone industry's terminology - is about to become reality.
Mobile-phone networks will soon be able to pinpoint the precise location of a handset owner to within 10 metres or less. From the middle of next year many phones will carry Global 10 Satellite Positioning chips, while another new technology, known as ‘Triangulation' can pinpoint a mobile-phone user's whereabouts.
The concept has already been warmly embraced by a number of firms. ‘It's popular with fleet and logistics firms who want to know where their lorries are,' said Julie Ramage of mobile- phone consultancy Analysys. 15
But the move has sparked huge controversy among civil liberty groups who fear that mobile- phone companies will be able to play Big Brother1.
‘It's a very worrying development. The scope for the misuse of this technology is enormous,' said Barry Hugill, spokesman for the civil rights group Liberty.
At the heart of the issue is who should be allowed to track a mobile phone. ‘If you have a 20 mobile phone, your network operator must know where you are in order to provide a service. The issue is whether they make that information available to third parties,' Ramage said. ‘That information cannot just be used by anybody. People have to sign up to have the information shared.'
Some experts are worried that firms might make it a condition of an employee's job 25 specification that they give their consent for their phone to be tracked.
Abridged from The Observer, December 7, 2003
1 Big Brother : a surveillance system
NOTE AUX CANDIDATS Les candidats traiteront tons les exercices sur la copie qui leur sera fournie et veilleront
- à respecter l’ordre des questions et reporter la numérotation sur la copie (numéro de l’exercice et, le cas échéant, la lettre repère ; ex. : 1 a, 1 b, etc.) ;
- à faire précéder les citations éventuellement demandées du numéro de ligne dans le texte.
I - GENERAL COMPREHENSION
A- The text is
1) an extract from an instruction manual.
2) an extract from a science-fiction novel.
3) an extract from a British newspaper.
B- Complete the following summary with words from the text (one blank, one word).
This text deals with a new ......1............. in ......2.......... phones which allows a boss to...... 3....... his
workers' ......4....... thanks to .........5........ installed in the phone. The............ 6......... is new and has
created ......7........... Since some groups believe that the development will open the door for ......8............ .
II - DETAILED COMPREHENSION
A- Write down the correct answer.
1- ‘I'm here now’ (lines 2 and 3) means a) ‘I'm at home'
b) ‘I'm at work’
c) ‘I'm in my car’
2- ‘It's the stuff of slackers' nightmares’ (line 7) means
a) ‘It's what lazy people are afraid of.'
b) ‘It's what lazy people are fond of.'
c) ‘It's what lazy people want.'
3- The objective of this system is to
a) help people.
b) follow people.
c) awaken people.
4- Civil liberty groups want people to
a) use this technology systematically.
b) stop using this technology.
c) use this technology with caution.
B- Right or wrong ? Justify by quoting the text. 1- It will be impossible for bosses to know exactly where their workers are.
2- Several companies are interested in the new system.
3- The evolution of this system makes people anxious.
4- The system can be used without the users' consent.
C- From the following list write down the four adjectives which best describe this new system according to the journalist.
innovative safe warm controversial
lazy alarming efficient imaginary
D- Who or what do the following pronouns refer to ? line 4 ‘She will never know...’
line 13 ‘It's popular with...’
line 14 ‘Their lorries...’
line 22 ‘They make that information...’
E- Find in the text the synonyms for the following words or expressions : 1- being present at :
2- a long sleep:
3- not to tell the truth :
4- adopted :
III - EXPRESSION
Do both subjects (one and two).
1- Write a letter to The Observer to say you are against this system. Give your reasons (80
2- Imagine situations in which this technology could be useful (120 words).