Items tagged with location data

The data collection business is a problem that affects anyone who uses a smartphone. Previously, we have seen data purchased that can track users to their doorstep, which is quite concerning in and of itself. Now, it is rumored that government agencies have been buying similar data in place of getting warrants through the proper channels. Both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General and ALCU are investigating these claims to validate and prosecute if true. Over the past several months, a team of U.S. Senators headed by Ron Wyden (D-Ore) have been investigating claims that federal agencies have been tracking American citizens without warrants. Among the team was former Presidential... Read more...
Private threat analysis and mitigation company, HYAS, is buying user data from phone apps to try to track hackers. A major side-effect of this, though, is that regular users are possibly being ensnared and HYAS claims they can track people to their “doorstep.” The collection of user data has long been a problem for everyone. Only recently was TikTok discovered collecting user data, which put their parent company, Bytedance, under scrutiny. By and large, the data collected is anonymous. However, when it is not collected anonymously, it can be used to track specific people accurately. HYAS, the threat intelligence company, is now offering tools to track people for threat intelligence... Read more...
Tech companies and consumers alike are rightfully concerned about government agencies seeking backdoors into smartphone operating systems. Agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have exclaimed that backdoors can help them crack smartphones that belong to criminal or child predators. On the other hand, companies like Google and Apple claim that it's a slippery slope that will result in privacy forfeiture and reduced security for everyone. Today, we have more evidence that shows that the U.S. Government is likely getting its hooks into smartphones around the globe via a well-connected contractor. A new Wall Street Journal report alleges that Anomaly Six,... Read more...
The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been investigating the sale of users’ location data by wireless carriers for several years. This investigation now appears to be coming to a close. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently informed Congress that at least one wireless carrier has violated federal law and illegally sold users’ location data. Pai did not name specific companies or disclose which laws had been violated. His letter stated that, “Accordingly, in the coming days, I intend to circulate to my fellow Commissioners for their consideration one or more Notice(s) of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in connection with the apparent violation(s).” The... Read more...
When it comes to your location data, sometimes you just want to keep things to yourself and not send every single data point regarding your whereabouts to the cloud. It's for this reason that companies like Apple and Google give users the option to disable location sharing; although both companies will often tell you that this will result in a less than optimal experience for services that rely on that data. However, it appears that Google hasn't been playing nice, and has been harvesting location data of nearby cell towers from Android users -- giving Google access to your daily travails -- even when location sharing has been disabled within the operating system. This breach in protocol was... Read more...