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Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Reptile, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Reptile

    Reptile NES Member

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    Dozens of companies use smartphone locations to help advertisers and even hedge funds. They say it’s anonymous, but the data shows how personal it is.

    The millions of dots on the map trace highways, side streets and bike trails — each one following the path of an anonymous cellphone user.

    One path tracks someone from a home outside Newark to a nearby Planned Parenthood, remaining there for more than an hour. Another represents a person who travels with the mayor of New York during the day and returns to Long Island at night.

    Yet another leaves a house in upstate New York at 7 a.m. and travels to a middle school 14 miles away, staying until late afternoon each school day. Only one person makes that trip: Lisa Magrin, a 46-year-old math teacher. Her smartphone goes with her.

    An app on the device gathered her location information, which was then sold without her knowledge. It recorded her whereabouts as often as every two seconds, according to a database of more than a million phones in the New York area that was reviewed by The New York Times. While Ms. Magrin’s identity was not disclosed in those records, The Times was able to easily connect her to that dot.

    Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret
     

  2. LittleCalm

    LittleCalm NES Member

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    go to location services on your phone and turn everything off app by app.
     
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  3. rommel

    rommel NES Member

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    Does that really turn it off?
     
  4. PaulR

    PaulR NES Member

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    We're looking to hire someone here at the office so I signed up for Linkedin. Denied it access to my emails, etc. Didn't matter, two days later it suggested to link me to every single person in Outlook.
    Not happy.
     
  5. LittleCalm

    LittleCalm NES Member

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    Presumably also use incognito/private browsing on your phone. I'll wait for the techsperts to weigh in.
     
  6. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon NES Member

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    No, there's no turning anything off, you're f***ed. Those switches are only to comfort you. Android collects everything all the time.
     
  7. cockpitbob

    cockpitbob NES Member

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    Ever wonder why the most simple app on your phone, the flashlight app, has a policy abut 5 pages long you have to agree to?

    I do believe turning off my phone's GPS actually turns it off. The battery seems to last a little longer and it's always notifying me that I have Location Services turned off.
     
  8. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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    And iOS requires users to opt in to any tracking.

    Of course, stupid people are going to stupid, so they'll say yes to anything.
     
  9. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    figure out where the GPS antenna is on your phone, and put copper sticky tape over it. Problem solved.
     
  10. Frizzle Fry

    Frizzle Fry

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    No.
     
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  11. Frizzle Fry

    Frizzle Fry

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    Sort of but also no.
     
  12. arsco

    arsco NES Member

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    You are the product
     
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  13. xtry51

    xtry51 NES Member

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    Newsflash. You don't need to carry your phone everywhere. Leave it at home.
     
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  14. bill o

    bill o

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    Maybe, maybe not. If you can't examine the source code there's no way to know.
     
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  15. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    I carry my phone everywhere in the hope that if I ever get accused of harming someone, the GPS records in my phone will show I was elsewhere. Although I have no idea if the phone company will hand over those records when requested. They will to cops or the Chinese or whoever, but how about me?
     
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  16. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    It will turn off the GPS to third party apps. But the phone company still will collect your location based on triangulation of your signal. And, perhaps Google too.... No way to be sure with that one.
     
  17. Choctaw

    Choctaw NES Life Member NES Member

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    Not exactly relevant to the original post but . . . at work we sometimes order from Wayfair. We have an assigned rep. who I have exchanged emails with a couple of times in the past year. Last week I was looking for a small bookshelf. I couldn't find the exact thing I was looking for on Wayfair but I did find something on Amazon and placed the order. The following day the rep calls the office and asks for me. She said "I see you were looking for a small bookshelf but you didn't place an order. Is there any way I can help?"

    I guess it is a good thing they don't sell guns and gun parts.
     
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  18. DarthRevan

    DarthRevan Instructor NES Member

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    Seeing as you need a Gmail account to use Androids, I'm sure they know everything.
     
  19. robjax

    robjax

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    go to settings and turn off cell data.
     
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  20. PaulR

    PaulR NES Member

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    I get that ALL the time.
    Not necessarily calls but emails.
     
  21. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    Then want you have is called a small tablet.
     
  22. Jim85IROC

    Jim85IROC

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    It sort-of turns it off. It prevents apps that access GPS directly via the android software from using GPS, however, Google Play Services still turns it on whenever it wants to, and Google has been encouraging developers to use Google Play services, rather than the open-source location APIs that are part of Android.

    I believe that it's a similar story for other parts of the phone including the microphone and camera. I got real sick of having a conversation about some random product with my wife, just to see an advertisement for that very product pop up in my Facebook feed a day or two later, so I shut off my microphone access to pretty much everything possible. Those kinds of intrusive ads are less frequent, but I think they're still showing up, presumably because there's no way to lock Google out of your microphone.
     
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  23. Mesatchornug

    Mesatchornug

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  24. rommel

    rommel NES Member

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    That may turn off a lot of things, but does it turn off everything??? Phones still acquire time and not sure if 911 calls may still be able to be made. Some data is being transferred somewhere
     
  25. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    Okay, airplane mode then. That has to produce no signal to be compliant with FAA laws.
     
  26. robjax

    robjax

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    No, what you have is a phone. I turned off everything short of putting the phone in airplane mode.

    I shut off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cell data.

    I can still make and receive phone calls but that's it.
     
  27. rommel

    rommel NES Member

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    Okay, the phone does not send any data in airplane mode. Does it store data for when airplane mode is turned off and then transmit????
     
  28. DarthRevan

    DarthRevan Instructor NES Member

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    Probably.
     
  29. RedWing

    RedWing NES Member

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    A few years ago i read about a "secure" phone that had hard connections for the mic, camers, and maybe gps. Thats the only way i feel i know its off. Not sure what happened to it though.
     
  30. drumenigma

    drumenigma NES Member

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    Makes me want to buy one of those bags you can drop your phone in to block all signals.
     

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