Furthermore, they could detect only some methods of snooping, in these proprietary apps whose source code they cannot look at. The other apps might be snooping in other ways. This is evidence that proprietary apps generally work against their users. To protect their privacy and freedom, Android users need to get rid of the proprietary software—both proprietary Android by switching to Replicant , and the proprietary apps by getting apps from the free software only F-Droid store that prominently warns the user if an app contains anti-features.
Grindr collects information about which users are HIV-positive, then provides the information to companies. Grindr should not have so much information about its users. It could be designed so that users communicate such info to each other but not to the server's database.
The moviepass app and dis-service spy on users even more than users expected. It records where they travel before and after going to a movie. Tracking software in popular Android apps is pervasive and sometimes very clever. Some trackers can follow a user's movements around a physical store by noticing WiFi networks. The Sarahah app uploads all phone numbers and email addresses in user's address book to developer's server. Google did not intend to make these apps spy; on the contrary, it worked in various ways to prevent that, and deleted these apps after discovering what they did.
So we cannot blame Google specifically for the snooping of these apps. On the other hand, Google redistributes nonfree Android apps, and therefore shares in the responsibility for the injustice of their being nonfree. It also distributes its own nonfree apps, such as Google Play, which are malicious. Could Google have done a better job of preventing apps from cheating? There is no systematic way for Google, or Android users, to inspect executable proprietary apps to see what they do.
Google could demand the source code for these apps, and study the source code somehow to determine whether they mistreat users in various ways. If it did a good job of this, it could more or less prevent such snooping, except when the app developers are clever enough to outsmart the checking. But since Google itself develops malicious apps, we cannot trust Google to protect us. We must demand release of source code to the public, so we can depend on each other. Apps for BART snoop on users. A study found Android apps that track users by listening to ultrasound from beacons placed in stores or played by TV programs.
Faceapp appears to do lots of surveillance, judging by how much access it demands to personal data in the device. Users are suing Bose for distributing a spyware app for its headphones. Specifically, the app would record the names of the audio files users listen to along with the headphone's unique serial number. The suit accuses that this was done without the users' consent. If the fine print of the app said that users gave consent for this, would that make it acceptable?
No way! It should be flat out illegal to design the app to snoop at all. Pairs of Android apps can collude to transmit users' personal data to servers. A study found tens of thousands of pairs that collude. Verizon announced an opt-in proprietary search app that it will pre-install on some of its phones. The app will give Verizon the same information about the users' searches that Google normally gets when they use its search engine. Currently, the app is being pre-installed on only one phone , and the user must explicitly opt-in before the app takes effect.
The Meitu photo-editing app sends user data to a Chinese company. The Uber app tracks clients' movements before and after the ride. Following is a non-exhaustive list, taken from the research paper, of some proprietary VPN apps that track users and infringe their privacy:.
Google's new voice messaging app logs all conversations. Facebook's new Magic Photo app scans your mobile phone's photo collections for known faces , and suggests you to share the picture you take according to who is in the frame. This spyware feature seems to require online access to some known-faces database, which means the pictures are likely to be sent across the wire to Facebook's servers and face-recognition algorithms.
Facebook's app listens all the time, to snoop on what people are listening to or watching. In addition, it may be analyzing people's conversations to serve them with targeted advertisements. A pregnancy test controller application not only can spy on many sorts of data in the phone, and in server accounts, it can alter them too. Apps that include Symphony surveillance software snoop on what radio and TV programs are playing nearby.
The article takes for granted that the usual analytics tools are legitimate, but is that valid? Software developers have no right to analyze what users are doing or how. In August it demanded users submit to increased snooping , and some are starting to realize that it is nasty. This is a typical example of the attitude of the proprietary software industry towards those they have subjugated.
Gratis Android apps but not free software connect to tracking and advertising URLs, on the average. Widely used proprietary QR-code scanner apps snoop on the user.
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This is in addition to the snooping done by the phone company, and perhaps by the OS in the phone. That is no excuse for malware. Many proprietary apps for mobile devices report which other apps the user has installed. Twitter is doing this in a way that at least is visible and optional. Not as bad as what the others do. The nonfree Snapchat app's principal purpose is to restrict the use of data on the user's computer, but it does surveillance too: it tries to get the user's list of other people's phone numbers.
The Brightest Flashlight app sends user data, including geolocation, for use by companies. The FTC criticized this app because it asked the user to approve sending personal data to the app developer but did not ask about sending it to other companies. A free software flashlight app would not. Skype refuses to say whether it can eavesdrop on calls.
Skype contains spyware. Microsoft changed Skype specifically for spying. Microsoft recorded users of Xboxes and had human workers listen to the recordings. Morally, we see no difference between having human workers listen and having speech-recognition systems listen. Both intrude on privacy. Red Shell is a spyware that is found in many proprietary games. It tracks data on users' computers and sends it to third parties. ArenaNet surreptitiously installed a spyware program along with an update to the massive multiplayer game Guild Wars 2.
The spyware allowed ArenaNet to snoop on all open processes running on its user's computer. The driver for a certain gaming keyboard sends information to China. Many video game consoles snoop on their users and report to the internet —even what their users weigh. A game console is a computer, and you can't trust a computer with a nonfree operating system.
Modern gratis game cr…apps collect a wide range of data about their users and their users' friends and associates. Even nastier, they do it through ad networks that merge the data collected by various cr…apps and sites made by different companies. They also use a back door to manipulate the game play for specific players. Angry Birds spies for companies, and the NSA takes advantage to spy through it too. Here's information on more spyware apps.
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More about NSA app spying. The bad security in many Internet of Stings devices allows ISPs to snoop on the people that use them. You can't see out the other way. What is supposed to make this spying acceptable, according to him, is that it is opt-in in newer models. But since the Vizio software is nonfree, we don't know what is actually happening behind the scenes, and there is no guarantee that all future updates will leave the settings unchanged.
If you already own a Vizio smart TV or any smart TV, for that matter , the easiest way to make sure it isn't spying on you is to disconnect it from the Internet, and use a terrestrial antenna instead. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Another option, if you are technically oriented, is to get your own router which can be an old computer running completely free software , and set up a firewall to block connections to Vizio's servers.
Or, as a last resort, you can replace your TV with another model. We link to the article for the facts it presents. It is too bad that the article finishes by advocating the moral weakness of surrendering to Netflix. The Netflix app is malware too. Even if the image is coming from the user's own computer, the TV reports what it is. The existence of a way to disable the surveillance, even if it were not hidden as it was in these TVs, does not legitimize the surveillance. Some web and TV advertisements play inaudible sounds to be picked up by proprietary malware running on other devices in range so as to determine that they are nearby.
Once your Internet devices are paired with your TV, advertisers can correlate ads with Web activity, and other cross-device tracking. Tivo's alliance with Viacom adds 2. Tivo customers are unaware they're being watched by advertisers. By combining TV viewing information with online social media participation, Tivo can now correlate TV advertisement with online purchases , exposing all users to new combined surveillance by default.
Verizon cable TV snoops on what programs people watch, and even what they wanted to record. The TVs did not do that when first sold. Nuance can save it and would then have to give it to the US or some other government. Speech recognition is not to be trusted unless it is done by free software in your own computer.
Proper laws would say that TVs are not allowed to report what the user watches—no exceptions! The fact that the transmission reports a error really means nothing; the server could save that data anyway. Even worse, it snoops on other devices on the user's local network. Meanwhile, LG TVs do lots of spying anyway.
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In many cases, the video shows everyone that comes near, or merely passes by, the user's front door. The article focuses on how Ring used to let individual employees look at the videos freely. It appears Amazon has tried to prevent that secondary abuse, but the primary abuse—that Amazon gets the video—Amazon expects society to surrender to. When Consumer Reports tested them, it suggested that these manufacturers promise not to look at what's in the videos. That's not security for your home. Security means making sure they don't get to see through your camera. Over 70 brands of network-connected surveillance cameras have security bugs that allow anyone to watch through them.
The Furby Connect has a universal back door. If the product as shipped doesn't act as a listening device, remote changes to the code could surely convert it into one. A remote-control sex toy was found to make audio recordings of the conversation between two users. A computerized vibrator was snooping on its users through the proprietary control app.
The app was reporting the temperature of the vibrator minute by minute thus, indirectly, whether it was surrounded by a person's body , as well as the vibration frequency. Note the totally inadequate proposed response: a labeling standard with which manufacturers would make statements about their products, rather than free software which users could have checked and changed.
The company that made the vibrator was sued for collecting lots of personal information about how people used it. The company's statement that it was anonymizing the data may be true, but it doesn't really matter. If it had sold the data to a data broker, the data broker would have been able to figure out who the user was. Guess what? Crackers found a way to access the data collected by the manufacturer's snooping.
That the manufacturer and the FBI could listen to these conversations was unacceptable by itself. Those toys also contain major security vulnerabilities; crackers can remotely control the toys with a mobile phone. This would enable crackers to listen in on a child's speech, and even speak into the toys themselves. Barbie is going to spy on children and adults. Thus, when one of Google's subcontractors discloses a thousand confidential voice recordings, users were easily identified from these recordings. Rather than trying to better control the use of recordings, Google should not record or listen to the person's voice.
It should only get commands that the user wants to send to some Google service. Amazon Alexa collects a lot more information from users than is necessary for correct functioning time, location, recordings made without a legitimate prompt , and sends it to Amazon's servers, which store it indefinitely.
Even worse, Amazon forwards it to third-party companies. Thus, even if users request deletion of their data from Amazon's servers, the data remain on other servers , where they can be accessed by advertising companies and government agencies. In other words, deleting the collected information doesn't cancel the wrong of collecting it. Data collected by devices such as the Nest thermostat, the Philips Hue-connected lights, the Chamberlain MyQ garage opener and the Sonos speakers are likewise stored longer than necessary on the servers the devices are tethered to. Moreover, they are made available to Alexa.
As a result, Amazon has a very precise picture of users' life at home, not only in the present, but in the past and, who knows, in the future too? Some of users' commands to the Alexa service are recorded for Amazon employees to listen to. The Google and Apple voice assistants do similar things. A fraction of the Alexa service staff even has access to location and other personal data.
Even though the ink subscription program may be cheaper in some specific cases, it spies on users, and involves totally unacceptable restrictions in the use of ink cartridges that would otherwise be in working order. Crackers found a way to break the security of an Amazon device, and turn it into a listening device for them. It was very difficult for them to do this.
The job would be much easier for Amazon. And if some government such as China or the US told Amazon to do this, or cease to sell the product in that country, do you think Amazon would have the moral fiber to say no? A medical insurance company offers a gratis electronic toothbrush that snoops on its user by sending usage data back over the Internet.
Today's technological practice does not include any way of making a device that can obey your voice commands without potentially spying on you. Even if it is air-gapped, it could be saving up records about you for later examination. Nest thermometers send a lot of data about the user.
Rent-to-own computers were programmed to spy on their renters. Tommy Hilfiger clothing will monitor how often people wear it. This will teach the sheeple to find it normal that companies monitor every aspect of what they do. The article says this is a back door, but that could be a misunderstanding. However, it is certainly surveillance, at least.
Tesla cars collect lots of personal data, and when they go to a junkyard the driver's personal data goes with them. The FordPass Connect feature of some Ford vehicles has near-complete access to the internal car network. It is constantly connected to the cellular phone network and sends Ford a lot of data, including car location. This feature operates even when the ignition key is removed, and users report that they can't disable it. If you own one of these cars, have you succeeded in breaking the connectivity by disconnecting the cellular modem, or wrapping the antenna in aluminum foil?
In China, it is mandatory for electric cars to be equipped with a terminal that transfers technical data, including car location, to a government-run platform. In practice, manufacturers collect this data as part of their own spying, then forward it to the government-run platform. GM did not get users' consent, but it could have got that easily by sneaking it into the contract that users sign for some digital service or other. A requirement for consent is effectively no protection.
The cars can also collect lots of other data: listening to you, watching you, following your movements, tracking passengers' cell phones. All such data collection should be forbidden. But if you really want to be safe, we must make sure the car's hardware cannot collect any of that data, or that the software is free so we know it won't collect any of that data. AI-powered driving apps can track your every move. Computerized cars with nonfree software are snooping devices. The Nissan Leaf has a built-in cell phone modem which allows effectively anyone to access its computers remotely and make changes in various settings.
That's easy to do because the system has no authentication when accessed through the modem. However, even if it asked for authentication, you couldn't be confident that Nissan has no access. The software in the car is proprietary, which means it demands blind faith from its users. Even if no one connects to the car remotely, the cell phone modem enables the phone company to track the car's movements all the time; it is possible to physically remove the cell phone modem, though.
Tesla cars allow the company to extract data remotely and determine the car's location at any time. See Section 2, paragraphs b and c of the privacy statement. The company says it doesn't store this information, but if the state orders it to get the data and hand it over, the state can store it.
Proprietary software in cars records information about drivers' movements , which is made available to car manufacturers, insurance companies, and others. The case of toll-collection systems, mentioned in this article, is not really a matter of proprietary surveillance. These systems are an intolerable invasion of privacy, and should be replaced with anonymous payment systems, but the invasion isn't done by malware. The other cases mentioned are done by proprietary malware in the car. VR equipment, measuring every slight motion, creates the potential for the most intimate surveillance ever.
All it takes to make this potential real is software as malicious as many other programs listed in this page. You can bet Facebook will implement the maximum possible surveillance on Oculus Rift devices. The moral is, never trust a VR system with nonfree software in it. In addition, many web sites spy on their visitors. As of April , it is no longer possible to disable an unscrupulous tracking anti-feature that reports users when they follow ping links in Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Opera, Microsoft Edge and also in the upcoming Microsoft Edge that is going to be based on Chromium.
Until , any tweet that listed a geographical tag sent the precise GPS location to Twitter's server. It still contains these GPS locations. The Storyful program spies on the reporters that use it. When a page uses Disqus for comments, the proprietary Disqus software loads a Facebook software package into the browser of every anonymous visitor to the page, and makes the page's URL available to Facebook. Online sales, with tracking and surveillance of customers, enables businesses to show different people different prices.
Most of the tracking is done by recording interactions with servers, but proprietary software contributes. Many web sites rat their visitors to advertising networks that track users.https://technodecision.ru/wp-includes/map9.php
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Many web sites report all their visitors to Google by using the Google Analytics service, which tells Google the IP address and the page that was visited. Many web sites try to collect users' address books the user's list of other people's phone numbers or email addresses. This violates the privacy of those other people. To learn more about automatic renewal, click here. Software does not guarantee protection against all possible threats. The free subscription will be granted to the registered McAfee account holder.
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