In Stores, Secret Surveillance Tracks Your Every Move

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by hawki, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    "As you shop, “beacons” are watching you, using hidden technology in your phone.

    Bluetooth beacons,...can track your location accurately from a range of inches to about 50 meters. They use little energy, and they work well indoors...

    Beacons are placed at airports, malls, subways, buses, taxis, sporting arenas, gyms, hotels, hospitals, music festivals, cinemas and museums, and even on billboards...

    ...a hidden industry of third-party location-marketing firms has proliferated in response. These companies take their beacon tracking code and bundle it into a toolkit developers can use.

    The makers of many popular apps, such as those for news or weather updates, insert these toolkits into their apps. They might be paid by the beacon companies or receive other benefits, like detailed reports on their users...

    Companies like Reveal Mobile collect data from software development kits inside hundreds of frequently used apps. In the United States, another company, inMarket, covers 38 percent of millennial moms and about one-quarter of all smartphones, and tracks 50 million people each month..."

    A very interesting read:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/14/opinion/bluetooth-wireless-tracking-privacy.html
     
  2. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    Hardly use a phone, and when I do it's not in these places so they can stick their beacons where the sun don't reach.
     
  3. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    My dumb phone doesn't speak Bluetooth :)
     
  4. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I guess that they can't track you if you have Bluetooth disabled?
     
  5. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    The NYTimes article says
    How is that possible?
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I guess "off" doesn't really mean "off".

    Maybe it means "won't try to connect". But it's always listening? Or always responding to pings?

    I mean, a Linux server with default iptables rules (accept all) will respond to pings, even if no servers are configured to listen.
     
  7. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    From linked article:
    https://qz.com/1169760/phone-data/
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Damn, what a horrible mess.

    I remember looking forward to small portable PCs. Like smartphones. But not bloody tracking/spying devices.
     
  9. BoerenkoolMetWorst

    BoerenkoolMetWorst Registered Member

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    Note that the location tracking in stores etc usually tracks via Bluetooth AND WiFi..
    Also, on iPhones, you have to turn of Bluetooth and WiFi off in the settings. If you turn them off in the quick control panel, they are not really off but won't try to connect, so tracking is probably still possible.
     
  10. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I hate that implementation on iPhones. If they were really privacy oriented, turning both from quick control would be possible. They could implement long press or double tap to turn them down entirely if they wanted.
     
  11. BoerenkoolMetWorst

    BoerenkoolMetWorst Registered Member

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    Indeed, in the past they turned off entirely by default. I was hoping for long press or something in a new version, but no luck..
     
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