The spy in your pocket: How Silicon Valley uses advertising tech to spy on your lockdown behavior

from RT

Police can’t catch everyone violating lockdown orders, but your smartphone can. Various apps give information to third parties who share it with other people who you may not want to trace you.

The US is split on how and when to lift lockdown measures. Georgia, for instance, has been reopening since last month, while the city of Los Angeles will likely force its citizens to stay at home until August, officials said on Tuesday.

Discontent with these measures has grown. Californians upset with their canceled summer have warned of the potential for riots, a warning that looks realistic after crowds of sun worshippers descended onto Orange County’s closed beaches earlier this month, in defiance of the armed police enforcing their closure. From Michigan to Massachusetts, protesters have picketed statehouses across the country, demanding their governors end the lockdown.

Amid the protests and debate, big tech is keeping a watchful eye on just how closely Americans are following the rules, and the media is watching too.

A New York Times report on Tuesday revealed that in both open and closed states, Americans are starting to venture further from their homes again. To arrive at this conclusion, the Times pored over the cellphone data of 15 million American citizens. Movement data gleaned from their smartphones was plotted against census data to calculate what percentage of people were wandering … Continue reading >>>

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Cellphone fascism
Total Surveillance: Contact-tracing app will be key part of UK’s Covid-19 containment strategy

Total Surveillance: Contact-tracing app will be ‘key part’ of UK government’s Covid-19 ‘surveillance programme’

Contact-tracing app will be ‘key part’ of UK government’s Covid-19 ‘surveillance programme’ – Johnson spokesman
Picture (c) Olivier Douliery, AFP
The hugely unpopular NHS contact-tracing app proposal, which as libertarians point out will giver the government the power to track all our movements, will be a “key part” of the U.K. government’s Covid-19 containment policy for the foreseeable future, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office has confirmed.

The app, designed ostensibly to notify smartphone users if they came into close contact with someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus, could be available within a few weeks,  but privacy campaigners warn that the app,  which will give the government and its agencies, including the police who have shown their willingness to abuse their new powers, the ability to record and store the complete movements of individuals and details of those with whom they were in contact.

If the plan goes through unchallenged, and Boris Jognson’s recent conversion to the kind of authoritarian approach wannabe Galactic Emperor Bill Gates has lobbied for suggests it will, the public will be “coerced” into sharing personal data about their movements, personal liberty activists fear.

This blog has warned from the outset that the whole COVID – 19 coronavirus scare was being used by globalists to effect a huge power grab and the abolition of the rights and liberties we in the democratic nations have come to take for granted.

Johnson’s spokesman added that the priority while waiting for the app to be ready is ensuring continued social distancing in order to fullfil the “five tests” to be met before lockdown measures can be eased. Those tests include falling deaths and falling infection rates. This is ridiculous and confirms our suspicions as empirical evidence shows distancing does not work and lockdown, apart from trashing the economy, has failed to curtail the spread of the disease. Nations like Sweden and South Korea which avoided a lockdown, arguing rationally that the economic damage would cause more deaths in the long term than the virus is ever likely to, have experienced no higher infection rate or deathg rate than normal.

Today’s statement from Downing Street follows a heated exchange in the House of Commons on Tuesday 28 April over proposed legislation setting out the legal basis for processing personal data by the app. Shadow deputy leader of the House, Afzal Khan, said that while the app has an “important role to play,” legislation should ensure that it stores data in a decentralized manner. This is nonsense as data stored in a decentralised way, i.e. a distributed database, can still be pulled together almost instantly on entry of certain keywords.

Responding to Khan, Solicitor General Michael Ellis QC said the app will be “voluntary participation only” and there will be “no private identifiable information on it.” Furthermore, the whole process will be “data protection compliant and there will be an ethical advisory board monitoring it,” he said.

If you believe that look out of the window quickly, you might see several pigs flying over your home.

Internet law professor Lilian Edwards took a more cautionary line, telling MPs, that there was a “precedent of other pandemics leading to a mass land grab in extensive state surveillance.” She is probably referring to the pandemics of damp squibs over the past three decades, including SARS, MERS, Swine Flu, Bird Flu and Ebola. The first four of those were so ludicrously hyped they caused the World Health Organisation to change the edfinition of ‘pandemic’ from hundreds of millions of people all around the world will be infected and millions will die, to ‘a few people here and there will feel a bit poorly.‘ Ebola was different, it killed thousands in west Africa in 2014 / 15 but despite a massive campaign to spread fear and panic in the rest of the world the diseasedid not significantly break out of Africa.

Historically, virus epidemics to tend to burn out after a few months. Why this is so has never been understood.

COVID – 19 has turned into a real pandemic, but there are several aspects of how it is thought to have originated, the way it predominantly attacks the old and those with underlying health problems and the fact that all the world’s leading economies were in deficit because of rising welfare bills, that have led conspiracy theorists to speculate that the timing is suspiciously convenient. And the authoritarian measures adopted by governments, vesting far more powers in the state, tend to fuel those suspicions.

Several EU countries have been developing contact-tracing apps in parallel with the UK, a statement from the EU Commission in Brussels earlier this month stated that it wanted EU members to take a “common approach” to the use of digital technologies and data.

The ‘common approach’  recommendation from Brussels has triggered a debate that is still raging in Europe  over whether to use centralized or decentralized solutions for the apps. While a decentralized approach would see data stored on the user’s own phone, a centralized infrastructure would see data sent to a central database run by public authorities, which civil liberties groups say risks evolving into state surveillance.

The German government plans to adopt a decentralized approach it was announced last week. This is a  U-turn on the previous plan which involved full support of the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (Pepp-PT) protocol developed by European Union agencies. Berlin will now support decentralized solutions proposed by Apple and Google instead, which leaves the gathered data on devices controlled by US tech corporations. This approach presents even greater problems for personal liberty activists  as on user privacy and data protection the track record of both these predatory corporations is on a par with that of a fox in a chicken coop.

Meanwhile the UK leans toward a centralized model and it’s been reported that experts from GCHQs National Cyber Security Centre, an agency which has been spying on us through our web use, emails, molbile phone calls and texts for over two decades, are advising on the project. So the unalienable human right to privacy is right out the window then.

In France the government of beleagured president Emmanuel Macron has also been pushing a centralized app solution, prompting hundreds of the country’s computer security experts to sign an open letter asking the government to reconsider due to concerns around privacy and individual freedoms.

Johnson’s spokesman said the government would set out more details regarding the British app as soon as it could. Our advice, Just Say No, Do you really need an app that allows a government no sane person would trust, to track their every movement and who they came into contact with.

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THEM (poetry noir)
A poem about surveillance

Another Privacy Abuse Scandal Brewing For Big Tech

App developers working for ad agencies that use Google ad servers are scanning your email to improve ad targeting.

 

Google, not a corporation that ever takes ethics seriously, even by corporate standards, made a pledge  about this time last year that it would stop its servers scanning the inboxes of Gmail users for information to personalize advertisements, hypocritically stating that it was committed to protecting data  so users could “remain confident that Google will keep users privacy and security paramount ”

However the internet search and advertising giant continues to let hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email-based services offering shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools. Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers—and, in some cases, employees—to read their users’ emails, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

WSJ is behind a pay wall but you can read a summary of the full article at

FromTheTrenches report

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App – alling

Isn’t it time we curtailed the criminal careers of the crooks and scumbags who have hijacked communications technology and turned what should be a great way of communicating and finding information into a criminal scam for corporate fascist who want to rob innocent and vulnerable people.

What drew Boggart Blog’s attention to the criminality of the internet technology industry is the case of Sam Vesty, a father-of-three who plays Rugby for Bath and has two caps for England.

Now I would not say Sam is innocent and vulnerable even if I thought he was because he’s probably a lot bigger than me. However it wasn’t Sam who was taken advantage of by technology scammers but his young sons.

The boys, aged six and eight, were playing the game on his iPhone after memorising his password. They managed to spend more than £1,000 an hour creating their own mini monsters in a popular game.

During this time they bought virtual food for the monsters 54 times, paying up to £69.99 a time for a “mountain of food” for each monster. Now you might think that the kind of cupid stunt who would pay £70 a pop of very real money for virtual food to feed virtual monsters in a virtual world deserves to get robbed. We agree.

Those irritating, technology addicts tossers and tosseresses who walk around waving their iPhones in our faces to show they are so kewl they are happy to pay twice the price for a gadget that does half the job simply because it has an Apple logo deserve to be robbed. But Sam’s boys were six and eight, they’re not stupid, they’re just children.

The app thyat robbed Sam’s iPhone is free to download but various extras, known as “in-app billing”, require cash payments to move up levels and develop monsters.In other words you click an icon and you account is automatically billed. Now I can think of at least three consumer protection laws that breaks.

Mr. Vestey only became aware of the bill when he received an email from Apple’s iTunes store charging him for “one mountain of food” at £69.99 last month.

He then checked his account and saw the damage.

He wrote on Twitter: “My kids did £3,200 playing a game called tiny monsters – it was £69 for some food for virtual monsters. Absolutely disgusting.”

He admitted he had left his sons alone with the phone and although the app needs a password for purchases to be made he said he boys had learnt it off by heart. Yeah, kids are good at that kind of thing and very bad at understanding money (even when they are 38 and 34 if it’s Dad’s money) which is why kids and computer automated billing systems don’t mix.

Bosses of the company that markets the game tweeted back to Vesty, asking him to get in touch. When he did the cash was eventually refunded after Tiny Monsters Ltd. accepted the purchases were not authorised by the user.

Pity really, I would love to be able to report that Sam and some of his Rugby playing mates had gone round to the firm’s office to “have a word.”