The Internet Of Everything
It's hard to believe some stories these days.
I have some news: the Internet of Things is a mess. A hacked refrigerator sounds slightly scary, but a vibrator-controlling app that records all your sex sounds and stores them on your phone without your knowledge? That's way worse.
Today, a Reddit user pointed out that Hong Kong-based sex toy company Lovense's remote control vibrator app (Lovense Remote) recorded a use session without their knowledge.
...This isn't Lovense's first security flub. Earlier this year, a butt plug made by the company — the Hush — was also found to be hackable.
I am without words.
This article reminds me all those creepy hacked baby monitors.
One thing these two articles have in common is that this surveillance has nothing to do with the government.
Most of the worst privacy abuses are done by private entities.
How can an employer make sure its remote workers aren’t slacking off? In the case of talent management company Crossover, the answer is to take photos of them every 10 minutes through their webcam.
The pictures are taken by Crossover’s productivity tool, WorkSmart, and combine with screenshots of their workstations along with other data – including app use and keystrokes – to come up with a “focus score” and an “intensity score” that can be used to assess the value of freelancers.
...“If you are a parent and you have a teenage son or daughter coming home late and not doing their homework you might wonder what they are doing. It’s the same as employees,” said Brad Miller, CEO of Awareness Technologies, which sells a package of employee monitoring tools under the brand Interguard.
Do you have a voice-activated devices like the Amazon Echo with Alexa?
Amazon plans to share the recordings with developers.
Remember how Verizon bribed the GOP and Trump administration to reject Net Neutrality? Well, Verizon isn't satisfied with just that.
After killing the rules, numerous states came forth with their own privacy proposals, and ISP lobbyists have been busy trying to kill those, as well.
Lobbyists for Google, Verizon, Comcast and AT&T collectively killed one such proposal in California, after falsely telling lawmakers the new law would embolden nazis, increase pop ups, and harm consumers. Now Verizon is taking things one step further, by lobbying the FCC to step in and prevent states from protecting consumer privacy.
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines—including Google—do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."
- Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt
What seems bizarre is not just how people think that only spying by governments is bad, but that companies will care about people's privacy at all. All evidence shows that companies are anti-privacy.
Companies “should be out there lobbying” for oversight frameworks that ensure “only the right kind of people carry out the right kind of surveillance,” United National Special Rapporteur on Privacy Joe Cannataci said at a privacy conference in Hong Kong organized by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
That being said, government spies have no respect for privacy either.
According to the interview, which was summarized and published in transcript form on Thursday for subscribers of the website, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein indicated that the showdown between the DOJ and Silicon Valley is quietly intensifying.
...The DOJ's number two has given multiple public speeches in which he has called for "responsible encryption."
He later added that the claim that the "absolutist position" that strong encryption should be by definition, unbreakable, is "unreasonable."
There are two ways to protect your privacy.
One way is in the House right now.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 27-8 to approve the bill, which would partially restrict the U.S. government’s ability to review American data collected under the foreign intelligence program by requiring a warrant in some cases.
Lawmakers in both parties were sharply divided over whether the compromise proposal to amend what is known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would enshrine sufficient privacy protections or possibly grant broader legal protections for the NSA’s surveillance regime.
This is obviously a weak tea bill, that barely addresses the problem.
The other solution is much more basic.
As Apple and Android release $1,000 smartphones, with more features than ever, could dumbphones be the next big seller?
The $150 Light phone, which only makes and takes calls, transfers them straight from your smartphone, giving you a break from technology.
The $295 Punkt phone lets you talk, text, set alarms and use a calendar.
Nokia has also launched a “back to basics” version of its mobile device, citing durability and battery life as reasons to buy.