Author Topic: Smartphone spyware  (Read 1900 times)

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Offline Maik

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Smartphone spyware
« on: Thursday, 21 December, 2017 @ 15:26:05 »
Is your phone listening to your every word or watching you through the camera? How thousands of people are convinced 'coincidence' adverts are anything but

From today's Mail, might come across as somewhat paranoid but targetted adverts are nothing new. Question is, how much personal info is collected by smartphones and devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home?

An article earlier this year on digital trends might give us a clue. Here's an extract:

Is your smartphone listening to everything you say? We asked the experts

“Smartphones are small tracking devices,” Michelle De Mooy, Acting Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Privacy & Data Project, told Digital Trends. “We may not think of them like that because they’re very personal devices — they travel with us, they sleep next to us. But they are in fact collectors of a vast amount of information including audio information.”

If you doubt that, and you’re a user of Google services, take a minute and visit this link. If you’re logged into your Google account, it will show all your activity across Google’s services, from Chrome and Search to Android and YouTube. Tap Filter by date & product at the top, choose Voice & Audio, and then hit Search. If you’ve ever used voice search on Google, you’ll see a list of audio recordings that you can play back and listen to right now.

Few people realize that the data is there. Google is relatively transparent, in that it allows you to review what has been collected, but it doesn’t go out of its way to publicize that it’s there in the first place. Most other companies that record you don’t let you see what they have at all, and it’s far from clear what they’re doing with the audio.

Last year the CDT alerted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to a technology called SilverPush. It uses audio beacons to track your activities across devices: Your TV emits a tone during a commercial break, a tone that’s inaudible to you, but your phone is listening for it. Now they can link the TV and phone as belonging to the same person.

“When you’re using a free service, you’re paying for it with your information, but the trade-off we’re making is really unclear to most people,” says De Mooy. “The internet that I see is vastly different than the internet you see. The content we see reflects the data that has been collected on us.”

Some people believe 'the government' are spying on them. I reckon that's unlikely, if only because the fashion is to out-source as much as possible to private enterprise. What happens to all the private data collected and traded by Google, Amazon, Apple....

Offline Jolly Roger

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Re: Smartphone spyware
« Reply #1 on: Friday, 22 December, 2017 @ 09:14:34 »
Very interesting to see a record of search history. I don't know how far back it goes, but I gave up looking after a year. I had no idea that location history was recorded as well. I know they say it is entirely private, but you do wonder if Government agencies could tap into it.

Offline TonyD

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Re: Smartphone spyware
« Reply #2 on: Friday, 22 December, 2017 @ 19:27:23 »
I see people (usually young people) buying single pints of beer, or a coffee with a credit card - they either have no idea, or no concern that their every move and transaction is being logged.

Same goes for Alexa and Echo devices, which of course are listening to every single word uttered in a household

Why are they so trusting?

Offline TonyKath

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Re: Smartphone spyware
« Reply #3 on: Saturday, 23 December, 2017 @ 15:23:22 »
I checked all this on my mobile a couple of weeks back.  Discovered that Google keeps a record of every single time I use an app. Why would they need that.  So I've turned off pretty much everything "Google". Including my GPS - but turn it on when there might be something specific I need it for which is rare.  I assume switching stuff off means it is actually off not just that it has become invisible to me.

Basically I reckon an Android phone is a people tracking and monitoring device.  Why do apps require access to so many parts of the phone.  One I installed and then removed wanted me to agree to it making calls!! And I use a Swiftkey keyboard for instant switching between English and Greek input.  I think I have pretty much agreed to it sending everything back to Microsoft who now own it.