Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tech that rats you out

ASM826 is doing a great job on how the authorities use your cell phone location data to track you.  E.M. Smith wrote about burner phones (among other things; go read if you already haven't).  Here are some other personal technologies that collect all sorts of data on you.

Cell Phone apps, particularly Facebook and Google apps.  These companies are notorious about accessing all sorts of data that they really have no business grabbing (like location data).  Apple just changed the rules about what apps have to disclose about this to you.  Interestingly, Google hasn't updated their apps to do this, even after a month.  

Alexa, Google Home, and other voice-activated devices.  Don't ever let any of these into your house.  I mean, stop and think about it: they have to send all your voice recordings to the cloud for analysis.  How else will they know that you said "Alexa, am I a lazy bum?"  You have no control over what they do with that data and there is evidence that they save this.

OnStar and other online car services.  Combine all the security nightmares of Alexa with all the security nightmares of your cell phone, and then add in the ability of the service to shut down your car.  What could possibly go wrong, amirite?

Ring doorbells (and competitors).  Miguel just posted about this so that I don't have to.  The local Po Po have access to all the video, for all time.

Internal cameras.  I mean, you're kidding me, right?  In the link above Miguel talks about a decent approach to cameras when you're away, but while you're there?

"Smart" TVs.  I've posted a bunch here about the sewer that is "Smart" TV security.  Don't turn this on.

I'll gather my thoughts and put together a Best Practice for personal privacy.


Miguel GFZ said...

Cameras for outside perimeter surveillance only. If you are home, you know you are home and you don't need to check.
If you have a family, training them to announce themselves coming in and going out. Gadgets ain't going to cure what training is supposed to correct.

Old NFO said...

Good point Miguel!

drjim said...

When my wife bought a new TV, it took me some extra steps to get it set up without being allowed access to the WiFi network, but it's doable. I wonder when the TV makers are going to make it impossible to do a first-time setup without a wireless link...

lee n. field said...

You should take a look at Rod Dreher's book "Live Not By Lies". He talks about resistance to "soft totalitarianism", and draws from experneices of folks that lived under communism. Those folks, those that survive to this day, are appalled at the privacy invading tech we bring into our lives for convenience.

Jonathan H said...

I wonder how much data companies can collect if you use a browser instead of their app?
I avoid apps as much as possible and use a browser for services whenever there is no unique features to the app.
The apps I use most are Google Maps and my bank's app.

Jerry said...

We have to do more than merely shut these networks out of our life. Big Tech wants data. I say let’s give it to them. If we feed enough garbage into the system it becomes useless..
A year ago a prankster cleared the traffic on a street by loading Waze onto a couple dozen old smart phones and walking the lot down the street in a baby buggy. Waze interpreted this as a traffic jam and routed everyone away from the street.
There are ways to get your cell phone to report erroneous locations. I tested the method. I wasn’t going anywhere so I set my phone to show that I was on Howland Island for a week. Afterwards I started getting spam for South Pacific vacations. Hmm? I wonder what would happen if I used this to fake a hike into Area 51, around the base and back out?
Screwing with email is especially fun. Some years ago, I developed a method for creating phony MIME attachments for emails. The “attachment” was just a thousand random characters; data gibberish. I thought it was great fun until a friend who works at one of those three letter agencies that don’t exist politely asked me to stop doing this. Apparently their surveillance computers were going crazy attempting to decode these encrypted messages but I did figure out that someone was watching our emails.
On-Star often has a separate fuse for the device. Find it and pull it. Alternatively drive a 2 decade old beater that doesn’t have On-Star as I do.
License plate readers and red light cameras can be spoofed as well. Snap a picture of someone’s license plate; preferably some local leftist. Print out their license plate and tape it over yours. Remove any identifiable decals on your car. Tape on a Coexist and Biden/Harris stickers. Put on your black hoodie and Biden rag then violate all the license plate readers and red light cameras in your community late at night or during shift change. The more people who do this the better.
I haven’t do so yet but I would love to find a method for creating random searches and cookies for the Big Tech Empire data slurping. Fill the system with enough garbage that they have no idea what I am actually looking at.

Glen Filthie said...

Ya know what?

I've just fuggin HAD it. I want to make it as hard for them to spy on me as possible. Not that I have anything to hide, but it would warm my cold, black heart to give Big Brother the finger. Screw you, Zuckerface, and anyone that looks like you! Dorsey, you little faggot - you can go suck a fart!

Borepatch, can you recommend a secure free email service? And maybe alternative more secure blogging sites?

If you'll excuse me, I am going downstairs and putting a piece of tape over the face cameras on the 'puter and the cell phone. I know it's like closing the barn door after all the horses got out... but it needs to be done BFYTW and all that...

LSP said...

I avoid all that stuff like the plague, though I keep a facecommie account to contact family and church people... and switched off cable etc a decade ago. Why pipe in poison direct to your home? Beats me.

That said, Orwell was prescient and the Dreher book's on the reading list. Better get it before it's banned.

Maniac said...

Lots of interesting theories about what really happened with that whole random Facebook log-out thing recently. Some have noticed that Facebook took more of an interest in their "Off-Facebook Activity" option since then.