Tag Archives | tracking

Algocracy: The Threat Of Rule By Algorithm

microchip

Will democracy give way to algocracy? Via the Institute for Emerging Ethics & Technologies, John Danaher writes:

In brief, modern technology has made it possible for pretty much all of our movements, particularly those we make “online”, to be monitored, tracked, processed, and leveraged. We can do some of this leveraging ourselves, by tracking our behavior to improve our diets, increase our productivity and so forth. But, of course, governments and corporations can also take advantage of these data-tracking and processing technologies.

Data-mining [could create] a system of algorithmic regulation, one in which our decisions are “nudged” in particular directions by powerful data-processing algorithms. This is worrisome because the rational basis of these algorithms will not be transparent:

Thanks to smartphones or Google Glass, we can now be pinged whenever we are about to do something stupid, unhealthy or unsound. We wouldn’t necessarily need to know why the action would be wrong: the system’s algorithms do the moral calculus on their own.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Seattle Police Department Has Network That Can Track All Wi-Fi Devices

trackingThe mesh network is looking out for you! Via the Raw Story:

The Seattle Police Department purchased a “mesh network” in February that will be used by emergency responders, which will be capable of tracking anyone with Wi-Fi enabled device.

The network is not yet turned on, according to Seattle Police, but once it is, it will be able to determine the IP address, device type, downloaded applications, current location, and historical location of any device that searches for a Wi-Fi signal. The network is capable of storing that information for the previous 1,000 times a particular device attempted to access a Wi-Fi signal.

Jamela Debelak, of the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU), is worried that police will use the network for more than just coordinating emergency responders; “Once these kinds of tools are in place, they don’t go away.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading

E-ZPass Is Being Used To Track Your Car Far From Tollbooths

Via Forbes, a video from a Defcon conference presenter who hacked his E-ZPass and found that his car’s location was being tagged continuously while he drove through New York City:

He hacked his RFID-enabled E-ZPass to set off a light and a “moo cow” every time it was being read. Then he drove around New York. His tag got milked multiple times on the short drive from Times Square to Madison Square Garden in mid-town Manhattan…and also on his way out of New York through Lincoln Tunnel, again in a place with no toll plaza.

At Defcon, where he presented his findings, Puking Monkey said he found the reading of the E-ZPass [in non-toll situations] “intrusive and unsettling.”

Continue Reading

Three-Quarters Of All Smartphones Contain NSA Code In Operating System

androidGoogle confirms that Android phones come with “Security Enhancements” added by the NSA, Bloomberg reports:

Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano confirms that the company has already inserted some of the NSA’s programming in Android OS. “All Android code and contributors are publicly available for review at source.android.com,” Scigliano says, declining to comment further.

Through its open-source Android project, Google has agreed to incorporate code, first developed by the agency in 2011, into future versions of its mobile operating system, which runs on three-quarters of smartphones [globally].

NSA officials say their code, known as Security Enhancements for Android, isolates apps to prevent hackers and marketers from gaining access to personal or corporate data stored on a device. Eventually all new phones, tablets, televisions, cars, and other devices that rely on Android will include NSA code, agency spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines said in an e-mailed statement.

In a 2011 presentation obtained by Bloomberg Businessweek, the NSA listed among the benefits of the program that it’s “normally invisible to users.” Vines wouldn’t say whether the agency’s work on Android and other software is part of or helps with Prism.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

How Smartphone Carriers Are Making Money By Tracking Your Behavior

smartphone carriers

A log of vast numbers of individuals’ movements and actions is a burgeoning goldmine for major wireless carriers, the MIT Technology Review writes:

Wireless operators have access to an unprecedented volume of information about users’ real-world activities, but for years these massive data troves were put to little use other than for internal planning and marketing.

This data is under lock and key no more. Under pressure to seek new revenue streams, a growing number of mobile carriers are now carefully mining, packaging, and repurposing their subscriber data to create powerful statistics about how people are moving about in the real world.

In late 2011, Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. carrier, changed its privacy policy so that it could share anonymous and aggregated subscriber data with outside parties. Verizon is working to sell demographics about the people who, for example, attend an event, how they got there or the kinds of apps they use once they arrive.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

How Stores Are Spying On You

Wear a mask, pay cash, and break out your old brick cell phone. Consumer Reports tells all:

High-resolution video cameras monitor all areas in and outside the  store. With facial-recognition software, your mug shot can be captured and digitally filed. Ditto for your car’s license plate. Stores don’t provide sufficient disclosure, so you can’t opt out to protect your privacy.

Gaze trackers are hidden in tiny holes in the shelving and detect which brands you’re looking at and how long for each. There are even mannequins whose eyes are cameras that detect age, sex, ethnicity, and facial expression.

Your mobile phone is an excellent device for tracking your shopping route. Retailer tracking systems can identify individual shoppers by monitoring your phone’s International Mobile Subscriber Identity number (constantly transmitted from all cell phones to their service providers) or Media Access Control address (transmitted when the device’s Wi-Fi is enabled, which is the default setting on most devices).

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Supermarket Giant Uses Wristband Trackers To Monitor Employees’ Every Move

If other corporations follow the example of British mega-chain Tesco, the future of working retail will become increasingly similar to being imprisoned. Via Technoccult:

The former Tesco employee said the device provided an order to collect from the warehouse and a set amount of time to complete it. If workers met that target, they were awarded a 100 per cent score, but that would rise to 200 per cent if they worked twice as quickly. The score would fall if they did not meet the target.

If, however, workers did not log a break when they went to the toilet, the score would be “surprisingly lower”, according to the former staff member, who worked in an Irish branch of Tesco. He said the devices put staff under huge pressure and many of his colleagues using them in Ireland were eastern Europeans, with limited English. Tesco confirmed that the devices were also in use across its UK stores.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Gates Foundation And Rupert Murdoch Unveil New Database To Track K-12 Students’ Personal Information

Kids’ grades, behavior, medical issues, and more—with their names and social security numbers attached—will be tracked by their public schools, entered in a database, and sold to private companies, in the name of improving educational services, Reuters reports:

The most influential new product [at the SXSWedu conference this week in Austin] may be a $100 million database built to chart the academic paths of public school students from kindergarten through high school.

In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school – even homework completion.

Local education officials retain legal control over their students’ information. But federal law allows them to share files in their portion of the database with private companies selling educational products and services.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Saudi Arabia Introduces Electronic Tracking Of Women

In Saudi Arabia, Siri tells you everything your wife is doing. Males will automatically receive text message notifications whenever their spouses, relatives, or daughters pass through travel checkpoints, the International Business Times reports:

Saudi Arabia has introduced an electronic tracking system to monitor its female citizens and alert Saudi females’ male guardians to their movement.

Since last week, some Saudi women’s male guardians have been receiving text messages from immigration authorities, alerting them when women under their [control], which include wives and daughters, leave the country. To leave the kingdom, Saudi women are required to seek permission from their male guardians, who give consent by signing what is known as the “yellow sheet” at the airport or border.

The recent controversy caused by the escape of a Saudi woman to Sweden was believed to have prompted the authorities to implement the system, Al Arabiya reported, citing local media.

Read the rest

Continue Reading