Runkeeper is tracking you in the background and selling the info to advertisers

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by ronjor, May 13, 2016.

  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Posts:
    57,794
    Location:
    Texas
    http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/runkeeper-user-tracking/
     
  2. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Posts:
    1,517
    This is not surprising at all. Nowadays, almost all "Free Apps" are doing this. From a whole desktop OS such as Windows 10, to small mobile app such as this one in the report. If one really cares about his/her privacy, then go for Linux, and use a dumb phone. As simple as that.

    Otherwise, enjoy both the free app and the fact that your privacy is being sold to advertisers. And, don't complain.
     
  3. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    6,855
    That's a pretty flawed assertion. You're comparing operating systems to apps that run on them. The "alternative" to Windows is "use Linux", why isn't it "use a dumb computer"? Lol. Linux is just as capable at spying on you as Windows is, depending on what apps (software) you run on the operating system.

    The alternative here isn't "use a dumb phone", the alternative is don't install privacy invading apps. The same way you don't install privacy invading apps on Linux. There is nothing secure about using a "dumb phone", you rob yourself of "smart" privacy enabling apps like Signal.

    To summarize, be smart about what you install on your computer systems, portable or otherwise.
     
  4. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Posts:
    1,517
    You don't know what you are talking about. You comment shows you know nothing about how the OS on a computer and smart phone works.

    "A dumb computer" What the heck is that? Do you know the Windows 10 T&C entitled it to spy on you? Yes, the vanilla Windows 10 OS itself, without you installing any third party apps, can and will spy on you. You don't need to install anything on Windows in order for you to be spied on.

    For Linux, of course if you install a rogue malware, that app can spy on you. But can you find a vanilla Linux distro that is under GPL and/or other FOSS licenses that has built-in mechanism that spies on you? JUST NAME ONE. If you don't see the difference between Windows and Linux, you must be pure blind.

    Yes, go ahead and use your smart phone. Again, iOS and Android most likely has built-in privacy tracking mechanism. You don't need to install any app to be tracked. For a dumb phone, can you do that? I doubt it.
     
  5. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    6,855
    Lol, thanks for enlightening us with that factual knowledge.
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,030
    If privacy matters, "use a dumb phone". But even that's iffy, given black-box radios, tower-based tracking, malicious fake towers, etc, etc.
     
  7. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    6,855
    All things that can be avoided by using a smart phone and the privacy oriented apps built for them.

    Oh wait, smartphones have "built in spying" lol. /s
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,030
    Apps have no access to the radio, and the radio can generally pwn everything else. The only workaround is using a separate cell modem. There are apps for detecting fake towers. But there's no way around tower-based tracking. And in any case, it's illegal to change the device ID, which can be linked to everything else. Using separate cell modems, however, you can at least use a different one for each persona. But that's a lot of work.
    Yes, they're designed entirely with spying in mind. Truth.
     
  9. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Posts:
    1,517
    LOL. stupidity is bliss.
     
  10. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    6,855
    Yeah except that's not how the radio driver works. (I'm purposely ignoring the fact that any point you bring up related to the radio driver also applies to dumb phones).

    So is irony. But I guess I touched a nerve on your non factual beliefs to provoke your unnecessary name calling. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  11. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Posts:
    1,517
    Yeah, your beliefs are always factual, and you are almighty infallible.

    Whatever, I don't give a damn. Educating the ignorant is not my job.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  12. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,030
    I'm certainly no expert. I just avoid the bloody things. But here are my sources:
    https://blog.torproject.org/blog/mission-impossible-hardening-android-security-and-privacy
    http://www.osnews.com/story/27416/The_second_operating_system_hiding_in_every_mobile_phone
    http://openbts.org/
    There's one big difference: There's no data on a dumb cellphone. It can be purchased for cash, and activated anonymously. And kept in a Faraday bag whenever it's at home.
     
  13. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Posts:
    8,516
    And buying some second-hand smartphone from craigslist with cash and removing the SIM card isn't enough? The apps themselves can just use public WiFi.
     
  14. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,030
    Well, there is the immutable device ID. But sure, if you only use public WiFi, you have some privacy. Best disable the radio, however. And GPS.
     
  15. quietman

    quietman Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Posts:
    491
    Location:
    Earth .... occasionally
    Smart phone , dumb phone , 2G phone , security / privacy apps installed , absolutely no apps installed,
    encrypted by default ( eg Blackberry ) ? .... none of it matters one jot , IMO .

    Simple radio triangulation will trump all of it , and it's been around since radio was invented !
    It will clearly indicate (a) where "you" spend most of your time , and (b) where "you" spend the majority of
    your time away from your primary location .
    Even if neither one is tied to the "real you " , it is a trivial task for a service provider , and therefore any TLA ,
    to simply " join the dots " .

    And if you happen to have a "regular" phone and a "burner" , and you have ever kept them both switched on ,
    for any significant period of time , at any particular location .... well that is a double misfortune !
    You are now well-and-truly mapped , tracked and logged .... on BOTH phones !

    It will be assumed , by any agency watching , that the location of the phone(s) is always the same as the
    location of the "real you".... it only needs some minor details to connect that profile to a name and an address
    ..... " And so it goes ... "

    As for illegally attempting to change the IMEI on a mobile device .... well that is the polar opposite of being inconspicuous !!!

    Just my 2 cents folks ..... not looking to start any argument here :)
     
  16. boredog

    boredog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Posts:
    1,181
    "Faraday bag"

    Aren't those the same as an antistatic bag electronic boards and components come in?

    I know shoplifters use Faraday bags
     
  17. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,030
    Anything that's electrically conductive will work. The reflective antistatic bags have a metal coating, and should work. The transparent ones won't. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antistatic_bag Aluminum foil also works, but tends to crack after bending a few times. Me, I like silver plated nylon :)
    Yes, they do ;)
     
  18. boredog

    boredog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Posts:
    1,181
    So I should be covered while at work since my bench is covered with an antistatic mat :thumb: We have tons of antistatic bag too
     
  19. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    6,855
    My beliefs? I just know more than you about the topic. I'm not trying to offend you, but this is what is plain as day to me from seeing what you've posted, which is nothing other than casual paranoia. Albeit, that's not really unexpected to see in the privacy forum, I'll give you that, but it truly has nothing to do with this thread about software applications. Do we really need another thread for scepticism?

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear you will stop spreading misinformation.

    Which can also be done with a cheap throwaway smartphone.

    So yeah, this thread has gone so far offtopic it's stupid.

    The correct advice for this actual topic, which is a privacy issue with a software application, is as I stated earlier:
    Not that it excuses the behaviour of this company, especially if it wasn't documented in their ToS/privacy policy, in which case I hope the lawsuits follow.
     
  20. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Posts:
    1,517
    You are hilarious. Keep on living in your delusion, and pretending you are an expert in this matter.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  21. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    6,855
    I'm glad I amuse you. However, I never claimed to be an expert, and never will. You can never stop learning, and one should constantly aspire to keep learning.
     
  22. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,030
    Huh? You must be entirely inside a conductive enclosure.
     
  23. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,030
    Hey, whatever. I trust Mike Perry on this.
     
  24. boredog

    boredog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Posts:
    1,181
    Yea I been an electronic technician since 1985 and used simple computer programming in the 70's. I hope you know that tin foil only works if it is grounded
    For best results your hat has to have a wire soldered to it and dragging on the ground LOL
    In the 60's all we had to do to fix something is look at the tube and if it was not lit, it was bad and just replaced it :)
    as a side note as I posted here many years ago, If you live in a trailer home and have metal skirting you are covered too. Your whole home is grounded.
     
  25. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,030
    Dude, grounding is irrelevant to electromagnetic isolation by Faraday cages. You can test that in your kitchen. Wrap your phone in a couple layers of aluminum foil, and call it. If there are no gaps in the foil, it won't ring. Grounding the foil, or attaching it to a hot 220V wire, or even a 15KV neon sign transformer, won't make any difference. Because everything inside the foil is electromagnetically isolated from the outside. For lower frequencies and/or higher power levels, however, you'd need a thicker barrier.