Mobile Apps Track Your Movements and Its All for Sale

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    The NY Times is reporting on mobile apps that track your movements after users agree to enable location services to get local news, weather, and other information. These apps collect data from a user every 2 seconds or up to 14,000 times a day for the purpose of selling the data to hedge funds, advertising agencies, retail outlets and more. This "anonymous data" includes the location of your home address so it is easy to cross reference the address with public records. Location companies say that people's data is fair game after agreeing to the privacy policy. They reiterate that it is a fair deal as customers are willing to give up their data in exchange for free services.

    Personal injury lawyers are buying advertisements from ad firms that are clients of tracking location companies. When they detect a person in an emergency room, the advertising sent to the phone is customized to target people who might have been in an accident. The NY Times was able to use the anonymous data to correctly identify nuclear plant employees, nurses, a police officer working on a homicide case, jail workers, teachers, AA members, weight watchers members, etc. Some of the people they tracked were willing to discuss their feelings on data collection in the article. More than 1,200 apps contain the tracking code. "Location data companies pay half a cent to two cents per user per month, according to offer letters to app makers reviewed by The Times."

    Businesses say their interest is in the patterns, not the identities, that the data reveals about consumers. They note that the information apps collect is tied not to someone's name or phone number but to a unique ID. But those with access to the raw data -- including employees or clients -- could still identify a person without consent. They could follow someone they knew, by pinpointing a phone that regularly spent time at that person's home address. Or, working in reverse, they could attach a name to an anonymous dot, by seeing where the device spent nights and using public records to figure out who lived there.
     
  2. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    This ought to be illegal.
     
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  3. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Rule 1: Never agree to the privacy policy.

    Rule 2: Turn off Location tracking.

    Rule 3: Turn off smartphone after rooting. Only access [H] tech news on vintage desktop computer.

    Result 1: Never be bothered again by annoying news, weather or useless 'info' updates. Enjoy longer battery and sanity life.

    :D
     
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  4. jeffj7

    jeffj7 [H]Lite

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    4: get rid of that all purpose tracking device called a cell phone
     
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  5. piscian18

    piscian18 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    live in the woods, drink your own pee.
     
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  6. Devilpup

    Devilpup 2[H]4U

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    Seriously, no one should be surprised by this.

    Also - there is nothing you can really do about it, if you have a smart phone you are participating. If you think your wireless carrier isn't also selling data to advertisers then shame on you.
     
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  7. The Mad Atheist

    The Mad Atheist Gawd

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    I said it once, I'll say it again. YOU ARE A RESOURCE TO BE USED AS PLEASED TO THOSE WHO CAN MILK YOU!
     
  8. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Rather sad that the NY Times thinks this is a breaking story. Have seen many similar stories on this and other forums. One not too long ago about how Google was tracking you even when you opted out of location services.
    First link that popped up: https://mashable.com/article/google-location-history-tracking-lawsuit/

    If you insist on carrying a personalized tracking device, expect to be tracked. The tech companies make Santa Claus seem like a rank amateur.
     
  9. Messy

    Messy Limp Gawd

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    Wrecked Em and clockdogg like this.
  10. Oldmodder

    Oldmodder Gawd

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    I can understand the free apps you DL and install on your phone do this bu the reason that if it is free you are the product.

    BUT ! google do this too, and you have paid for the phone with their OS on.
    And by now most people don't even care, though a few movies have outlined what can happen if / when you don't care, and your gooberment like it too, thats why money as in cash are getting phased out, and nowadays if you don't have a phone that will have a negative impact of your life,,,, but thats your fault,,,,,, and really down to earth it is,,,, but still.
    I am looking forward to the day when i can be free again, even if it are now a inconvenience and i assume soon a crime, but really i don't need a phone.
     
  11. spintroniX

    spintroniX Gawd

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    As much as I love Linux as a desktop OS, I'm not sure how feasible it will be as a phone OS.
     
  12. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    Yes, I've covered many of the tracking stories before over the last couple of years. Still doesn't make it right. When the newspapers stop reporting it, then you have no chance of getting it changed as society has accepted it as "normal." If enough people contact their Congressman or woman then maybe we can get something done about it.

    I hope they never stop writing articles about digital privacy. :)
     
  13. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Simply turn off the phone when you don't need it. If it's off, they can't track it.

    It's amazing how many criminals forget something that simple.

    And when they ask you why your phone was off, just explain you where tired and didn't want anything disturbing your sleep.
     
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  14. McCartney

    McCartney Gawd

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    pretty sure the masses are going to react like I did when they aired those documentaries killing the kayfabe aspect of wrestling:

    NO! NO! IT CAN'T BE TRUE.
    "IT'S STILL REAL ["not selling my data" or whatever the desired equivalent is] TO ME, DAMMNIT" lol



    edit: i used to deride the ol' "point n clickers" in the desktop era.

    you know, the ones who'd hunch over and just click around mindlessly with their bottom jaw hanging.

    it seems the mobile user is now an annoying reminder of these noobs, as i see these people stare at their 6" two-handed brick at eye level, swirling their finger around, clearly mesmerised by PPI and nothing more. learn2use, l33ch.

    edit2: seriously all that's missing is a thought bubble hanging over these casual l33ches' heads, where they're skipping rope in some vast green field to convey how "free" they feel and how the "world is at their fingertips".
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  15. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Funny story about that. Bought a used Note 4. On (daily) boot, the phone complained about not being able to phone home to its former Telco. Not a big deal, just annoying. When I contacted the vendor about this 'unlocked' phone issue, his first question was: "Why would you turn OFF your phone?!" :eek: (the network never sleeps;-)

    At least the Note 4, when the battery is removed is OFF. The soft 'OFF' of current phones doesn't mean it's actually off.
     
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  16. Loop242

    Loop242 [H]Lite

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    Or be smart enough to setup near a water source.
     
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  17. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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  18. WhoMe

    WhoMe Gawd

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    It helps the robot/Master AI to be able to predict where you are when they send out the killbots.
     
  19. m_isom

    m_isom Limp Gawd

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    There is no porn on the link, it is your targeted advertising bringing it up. Mine shows newegg
     
  20. steakman1971

    steakman1971 2[H]4U

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    Some of the TOS and agreements in these are ridiculous. However, the majority of people click on them and don't bother reading.
    I am very selective as to which apps get my location info. Even so, how many of these companies can I trust? If they are not actually doing anything with it, someone will hack them and access it the data.
     
  21. SecretStash

    SecretStash Limp Gawd

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    Part of the problem is Android. I don't want the app running in the background. Why can't we just shut it down instead of draining battery all day?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  22. darckhart

    darckhart Limp Gawd

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    I think the truly atrocious part is that the article claims this data point is worth about half a cent to 2 cents PER MONTH
     
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  23. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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    Sure? It made me cum in a few seconds....
     
  24. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    It's not surprising in the slightest, but there is a big difference between having an idea that it is actually happening, and knowing for sure.

    All these people need to be stabbed.
     
  25. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    This is a nice idea and all, but what applications will be available? And even if the big name apps we all love and use added themselves to this phone, it would be problematic, as it is often the apps themselves that do the tracking.

    Make no mistake. Absolutely nothing can fix this until we have strong privacy regulation that bans the practice of collecting peoples data. The GPDR did not go far enough. It should be a prisonable offense to ever create a profile on anyone else by collecting their data for any reason (except maybe for billing purposes and credit history). Sure, ads are necessary for th economy of these things to work, but they need to be happy by being limited to contextual ads that are unaware of who you are, or what your history is or interests are, and only display ads based on what you are seeing on screen at the moment the ad is loading.
     
  26. harbingerofdoom

    harbingerofdoom Gawd

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    lemme know how that goes.... this is one thing im not going to early adopt into but i am interested in how this particular flight of fancy fairs.
     
  27. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The dark cyberpunk future approacheth! :borg:
     
  28. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    That just it, it's not that people don't care, it's that people want their shiny, and the drug dealers already have you hooked, and you're up for grabs now.
     
  29. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    We're so hooked on everything there's no way we'd ever give up our phones.
     
  30. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Hmmmmm, maybe I should purchase the Windows 10 Mobile Lumia 950 again, it is far more secure, after all. :D:)
     
  31. PantherBlitz

    PantherBlitz Limp Gawd

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    Yep. It is like a sleep mode and the phone can be turned on remotely by the carriers. Law enforcement uses this feature. I read about how instead of shaking hands when meeting cartel members and terrorists show each other their cell phones with the batteries removed.
     
  32. PantherBlitz

    PantherBlitz Limp Gawd

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    A good NewEgg sale will do that.
     
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  33. MixManSC

    MixManSC ║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█ Staff Member

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    Correct.... many current phones are never really "off" and you cannot remove the battery to force them to be either. Someone mentioned to me that the Presidential Alert system test in October even automatically powered up some models of phones that were supposedly "off".

    Fortunately there are still some phones with removable batteries. Not mine :cool: but I do have everything tracking related disabled as much as I can though.
     
  34. Rahh

    Rahh [H]ard|Gawd

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    My location data makes me money as well so I won't be turning that off any time soon. If they want to sell that data for advertising toward me it's not as much of a nuisance to me than still receiving phone books...
     
  35. jeffj7

    jeffj7 [H]Lite

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  36. PaulP

    PaulP Gawd

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    You do realize that Android is built on top of a basic linux kernel, right?
     
  37. TheBuzzer

    TheBuzzer HACK THE WORLD!

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    i dont think that linux phone will work, a developer will just code a free app for it that will track them. unless they have no access to gps at all?
     
  38. spintroniX

    spintroniX Gawd

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    Sure, but it's not the kernel that makes the OS. It's the application support. Linux is, of course, GNU+Linux. Android is Linux + Google apps + third party apps.
     
  39. PaulP

    PaulP Gawd

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    To me, the kernel is the heart and soul of an OS, but you do make a good point that applications are what most people see.
     
  40. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    This will be almost like the Snowden leaks.

    "They don't have the means to do it"
    "They have no reason to do it"
    "They may be doing it but it doesn't matter"

    etc...

    I've tried with so many people.