The world has adopted Zoom for video chats with friends and family while we shelter, for good reasons: it’s free or inexpensive, it’s easy to use, and it works very well.
Naturally, there’s been a backlash, because, I don’t know, good things must be punished? So there has been relentless coverage of alleged security problems with Zoom. […] continuedRead more
Having government and big companies track our locations is a horrific invasion of privacy. We can be sure that big companies will be careless with private information about us, allowing it to be misused by bad actors. The government will almost certainly weaponize it against us. The risks of location tracking outweigh the benefits. […] continuedRead more
Health authorities could track your location and use the data to monitor and model the spread of Covid-19. It would help researchers learn how long the virus survives on a surface, what percentage of the population is asymptomatic, and where to target medical resources. The government could compare your movements with those of known coronavirus patients and alert you if you came into close contact. […] continuedRead more
Having big companies track our locations is awesome. It improves our lives in ways big and small with services that are only possible because tech companies know where we are. The benefits of location tracking outweigh the risks.
Location tracking improves the world in two ways: it allows companies to provide services specifically to you; and it lets them combine your movements with information from other people and deliver services that benefit everyone. […] continuedRead more
The phone carriers – Verizon, AT&T, and the others – track the location of your phone by keeping a map of the cell antennas you connect to as you move around. […] continuedRead more
Our phones track our movements every minute of every day. We carry around beacons that continuously broadcast their location. Our phones are remarkably efficient surveillance tools.
But it’s not just our phones. […] continuedRead more
Look, I get it. I don’t blame you for wanting to tune out. We’re assaulted by bad news. Our political system is in chaos, we’re doing indescribable damage to the climate, we have no privacy, there are cameras and trackers and lions and tigers and bears. […] continuedRead more
You carry a beacon twenty-four hours a day that broadcasts your location. We are being tracked wherever we go by dozens of companies, mostly unregulated. It is an unparalleled surveillance system, but it wasn’t created by sinister forces in an authoritarian government. It was built to make money. Technology companies have persuaded us to spy on ourselves. […] continuedRead more
You can record speech on a Pixel phone with Google’s new Recorder app, and it will transcribe the words into text in real time. You can save the text and search for words later.
You can see captions on any video or spoken audio on your phone. (Not phone calls or video calls – those bring up thorny privacy issues.) […] continuedRead more
(This will be the last Bruceb News article until I recover from an upcoming
business conference trip to Hawaii. Happy holidays!)
I think I accomplished two goals in 2019: writing articles about privacy and security that were so terrifying that they kept you awake at night; and making those articles so dull that they helped you sleep. […] continuedRead more
Your personal information is being bought and sold by companies that lurk in the shadows. You’ve never heard of them. That’s the way they like it.
This is the most important issue that affects your privacy today.
Let’s start with a tight focus.
Assume there’s a company that methodically scrapes information from public records – drivers licenses, voter registration, property rolls, census and change of address records, birth certificates, marriage licenses, bankruptcy records. […] continuedRead more
Your personal information is for sale on the dark web.
Don’t worry, I’ve got in mind that you don’t know what the “dark web” is, other than a scary name. I’ll tell you more down below.
I believe all articles about the dark web are required to use the above picture to convince you it’s pure evil. […] continuedRead more
You don’t notice an automatic door when it opens.
Google, Amazon, and Apple want to make it so natural to interact with their devices that you don’t even notice that you’re doing it. We’ll be surrounded by devices. The more there are, the less we’ll notice them. […] continuedRead more
There are good reasons to set up a new Windows 10 PC without a Microsoft account, even if you intend to link it to a Microsoft account eventually.
The bad news is that Microsoft is pushing its own agenda and using deception to hide the option of setting up a local account instead of a Microsoft account. […] continuedRead more