Stalker app Write and Go from AT&T

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by acr1965, Jan 9, 2011.

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  1. acr1965
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    acr1965 Registered Member

    When I think of the AT&T phone app Write and Go I think of a stalker. Stalkers are a different breed, they follow but don't really want to capture anything. They snoop and pry but usually it's just to be nosy. They want control more than anything. But at the same time, they want left alone. They always seem to be lurking and are kinda creepy.

    Anyway, that's my Write and Go experience on my Samsung Captivate Android phone. My phone has a few apps downloaded from the Market, including one for Facebook. I was curious to see what Write and Go was all about so I clicked on it's screen icon and away we went. It has some feature that allows posts to Facebook. I tried it, and it works, after signing in to Facebook from the app, of course- I sent some short test message which was immediately posted in my Facebook status. OK, well it looked interesting but not really my flavor so I checked for the "off" button or "sign out" or "disconnect" button to rid the Facebook connection. There's not one.

    I spend some time trying to figure a way to disconnect from Facebook, but to no avail. There was really no way to do this from the phone, the app or from Facebook. So I decided to change my password on Facebook. That would surely work. It didn't.

    Here's one reason why, though. After changing my Facebook password I noticed the Write and Go app had a "expired" message regarding its Facebook connection. Good. But I still wanted to use my Facebook app on my phone. I inserted the new password in my Facebook app to match the new one on the website and signed in as normal. Then, just to test, I went back to the Write and Go app and typed in some test message and hit connect to see what would happen. The message was immediately posted on my Facebook status. The Write and Go app was able to either, 1. somehow go through the Facebook app on my phone to determine the new password, or, 2. determine my new password directly from Facebook.

    The latter is a bit far fetched but the former has some serious privacy concerns as well. I uninstalled the Facebook app from my phone and again tried to send a test message via Write and Go to Facebook. It worked like a charm.

    Still, though, no way to disconnect from Facebook. A hard reset did not work. There was no way of preventing the Write and Go app from connecting unless I either went the root course with my phone and uninstalled the app or just reset the phone back to factory settings and lose all my data. I chose to just reset the phone instead of root.

    I have no idea what else the Write and Go stalker app does. Maybe stalker-ware is a new category we should start? Either that or creepware. If anyone has any creepy, stalker app stories please post.

    Thanks.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  2. katio
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    katio Guest

    The category you are looking for is "just works". You should be thankful, what's wrong with you guys? When was the last time you drank your Kool-Aid?

    Truth is the whole mobile "app" space is creepy as hell. We have all these phone home apps (no pun intended), despite the draconian Apple Store process and without telling the user about it upfront. Smartphones come with unique hardware ID numbers, are essentially tracking and bugging devices for warrantless surveillance. There's no network neutrality on the mobile networks, any kind of anonymity on the network is really hard, the marketplaces/stores are locked down and censor, to a large part because of profit driven considerations (e.g. iTunes monopoly, Google pushing it's own cloud services to maximise exposure to their ads and increase collected data for targeted advertising). Then we have the prospect of things to come: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/08/steve-jobs-watching-you-apple-seeking-patent-0
    A fully open source stack with focus on giving full control to the user out of the box (not requiring jail-braking and rooting) will hopefully bring a less creepy option for all privacy conscious user (or simply someone with certain principles, i.e. "don't bend over").
    MeeGo could be it.
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