Author Topic: Our phones spying on us?!  (Read 463 times)

Offline LionKing

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Our phones spying on us?!
« on: March 11, 2021, 03:24:30 PM »
“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
 Rumi

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2021, 05:29:41 PM »
Its a consequence of modern living and it's been going on for years:
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/10/business/location-data-privacy-apps.html
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline AtomicDog

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2021, 05:56:37 PM »
Like I've always said: you have far more to fear from Big Buisness than Big Brother.
"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." - Isaac Asimov

Offline LionKing

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2021, 07:36:08 AM »
You can turn off location, right?
My question, is there a way to block cameras in phones and microphones from recording when we don't want them to do so? and is this data readily accessible to states for example or companies, or they would need to hack someone's phone to get this?
“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
 Rumi

Offline molesworth

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2021, 08:11:11 AM »
You can turn off location, right?
That only provides limited security.  Your service provider can still track you using information from the cell stations/towers you're near, locating you within a few metres where there's a lot of coverage (e.g. cities).  A lot of the Capitol rioters have been tracked as they invaded and moved about the building, which will possibly be used as evidence in their trials.

My question, is there a way to block cameras in phones and microphones from recording when we don't want them to do so? and is this data readily accessible to states for example or companies, or they would need to hack someone's phone to get this?
Depending on your phone type you should be able to check which applications have access to various features, including camera or microphone.  You can then disable access for any you don't trust.  As far as I know it isn't possible to turn them on remotely, although it is possible that there are hidden "backdoors" which provide access.

The bottom line is that phones are easily trackable, and your service provider could be asked by law enforcement agencies to provide details of your past locations, and your calls and texts.  If you're worried about being tracked, don't take your phone with you  ;)

As a postscript - you can also use the fact that most people leave the WiFi enabled on their phones, and it's pretty easy to set up a simple device to detect anyone coming close to your property - https://www.lanmaster53.com/2014/10/02/wifi-user-detection-system/  I've set up an ESP8266 microcontroller as my "WUDS".  So far no intruders, but it lets me know when visitors, the postie or delivery drivers are at the gate  ;D
Days spent at sea are not deducted from one's allotted span - Phoenician proverb

Offline LionKing

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2021, 09:17:26 AM »
Thanks molesworth for the insight. Here is some information on how Facebook collects information on us and how to limit it
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https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/can-facebook-app-spy/#:~:text=It%27s%20a%20commonly%20held%20belief,on%20users%20in%20the%20past.

“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
 Rumi

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2021, 07:40:16 AM »
You can turn off location, right?
My question, is there a way to block cameras in phones and microphones from recording when we don't want them to do so? and is this data readily accessible to states for example or companies, or they would need to hack someone's phone to get this?

Google's Android OS was shown to record user location data even when GPS was turned off, when the user also turned off location tracking AND data sending. The phone sent the data at a later date. https://qz.com/1354967/how-to-stop-google-from-tracking-your-location-data/

Even that doesn't prevent tracking as you can be located, as moleworth said, by cell tower location. There's also a huge amount of data gather have little or no control of.

If you don't want to be tracked then you have to abandon the use of mobile devices. No other way round it.
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline LionKing

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2021, 09:07:12 AM »
You can turn off location, right?
My question, is there a way to block cameras in phones and microphones from recording when we don't want them to do so? and is this data readily accessible to states for example or companies, or they would need to hack someone's phone to get this?

Google's Android OS was shown to record user location data even when GPS was turned off, when the user also turned off location tracking AND data sending. The phone sent the data at a later date. https://qz.com/1354967/how-to-stop-google-from-tracking-your-location-data/

Even that doesn't prevent tracking as you can be located, as moleworth said, by cell tower location. There's also a huge amount of data gather have little or no control of.

If you don't want to be tracked then you have to abandon the use of mobile devices. No other way round it.

My biggest problem is usig cameras and microphones when we don't know it. It is OK to trackme where I go I am not visiting forbidden places😆
“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
 Rumi

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2021, 07:39:31 AM »
You can turn off location, right?
My question, is there a way to block cameras in phones and microphones from recording when we don't want them to do so? and is this data readily accessible to states for example or companies, or they would need to hack someone's phone to get this?

Google's Android OS was shown to record user location data even when GPS was turned off, when the user also turned off location tracking AND data sending. The phone sent the data at a later date. https://qz.com/1354967/how-to-stop-google-from-tracking-your-location-data/

Even that doesn't prevent tracking as you can be located, as moleworth said, by cell tower location. There's also a huge amount of data gather have little or no control of.

If you don't want to be tracked then you have to abandon the use of mobile devices. No other way round it.

My biggest problem is usig cameras and microphones when we don't know it. It is OK to trackme where I go I am not visiting forbidden places😆

Don't download apps from unauthorised sources. Don't buy or use dirt cheap Chinese phones made by small players. Do these two things and the likelihood of your phone being compromised by malware is pretty small.

Anyone listening to my phone conversations will soon get bored shitless.

The point about location tracking being OK as you are not visiting "forbidden places"- it really isn't that simple. Imagine your life insurance provider learning that you were visiting an oncology unit on a regular basis? It's more nuanced than visiting out-of-bounds sites.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 07:42:11 AM by Zakalwe »
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline LionKing

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2021, 01:20:08 PM »
I didn't think of trips to oncologits because I don't have insurance. Speaking about the government or certain political parties might be a problem, however.
In all cases, our privacy is compromised or is prone to be like that, and I think it is something to raise awareness against so people can refuse it and pressure to stop its possibility through technology
“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
 Rumi

Offline raven

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2021, 02:52:42 PM »
Simple solution for camera at least: cover the lenses. Might cover some of the screen, depending on the size of the phone.

Offline Obviousman

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2021, 04:06:44 PM »
That being said, with the iPad we use as an Electronic Flight Bag, we cannot take them into secure spaces. Our security people determined that if you want to take an iPad into a secure space, the camera and microphone must be physically redacted from the device.

Offline jfb

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2021, 10:43:03 AM »
That being said, with the iPad we use as an Electronic Flight Bag, we cannot take them into secure spaces. Our security people determined that if you want to take an iPad into a secure space, the camera and microphone must be physically redacted from the device.

Yeah, back when I worked in the military-industrial complex, anything that had one or more of a camera lens, microphone, or wireless connection could not be taken into a SCIF.  Even if you were trusted, your device wasn't. 

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2021, 02:29:45 PM »
That being said, with the iPad we use as an Electronic Flight Bag, we cannot take them into secure spaces. Our security people determined that if you want to take an iPad into a secure space, the camera and microphone must be physically redacted from the device.

Yeah, back when I worked in the military-industrial complex, anything that had one or more of a camera lens, microphone, or wireless connection could not be taken into a SCIF.  Even if you were trusted, your device wasn't.


Many moons ago I had to go to the development centre for what would become bank debit cards. An innocuous anonymous building on a standard commercial industrial estate. You were scanned at reception and anything electronic or electrical had to be left at the front desk. Obvious things were mobile phones and laptops. Less obvious were quartz watches, calculators, pagers(yeah, it was that long ago). Basically anything with an integrated circuit or a battery was deemed insecure and not to be trusted.
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline raven

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Re: Our phones spying on us?!
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2021, 01:28:41 AM »
Makes sense. While many of those things wouldn't by default be useful for any kind of snooping, such devices could be made to look like such things, and easier to blanket ban than to have to inspect each and every item, taking it apart and, if judged innocent, put back together in functional order.