Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

All topics relating to computer security and internet privacy. Please try to keep it technical related and leave political diatribes at the door.

Re: Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

Postby meandean1 » August 30th, 2014, 1:00 am

FretfulMother wrote:I don't think that works

All those things I listed certainly limits the possibility of info going from my phone to some other place and hopefully assures that any data collected is not specific to a google account with personal data listed in it.

Of course I also do it for the extra battery life as well.

By the way, my post was suppose to be a response to debils query for opinions about smart phones.

You can be tracked by your phone simply being powered on

Any cellphone can be tracked to some degree including 'dumb' phones. If you care that much about your privacy then the obvious choice is to not have any cellphone whatsoever. But then again, if you care that much about privacy...well you should be living off the land, staying in a cave, and not carrying any identification at all.

As far i see it's three powers who track you (by different means):

Just three? by different means? haaaa.....surely you jest....people are so tracked, monitored, and observed nowadays...


You must be kidding. I hear that all the time. What is that "do-all" ? And does it go well? Mainly: does it go fast (faster than quickly booting a PC and using a real device).

Excuse me, I mispoke, I should of said it is a do-a-lot-of-things device. Is that better? I listen to music on it while mowing. I use it as a flashlight when I go in the basement. I use the calculator to figure up the best deal on toilet paper when I am at the store. I keep various notes, info, recipes on it. I use it to keep in touch with the two or three people I care to keep in touch with. I use it to look up something on web when I am sitting on the couch, sitting in traffic(got me out of a horrible traffic jam recently), outside with the chickens, and so forth. Take a picture. Make a video. Keep up with appointments. Record someones speech. Wake me up on trash day in time to set the trash out. Time me when swimming laps. Watch stupid youtube videos to pass the time. Play a game to pass the time. Download a file I need from the web. etc..

Yes taking a phone out of my pocket is much faster than booting a PC. It is certainly easy, fast, and convenient in all those cases I listed above..

But i wouldn't assume one can (easily) trick it into behaving slightly better (privacy related).

I think to sign into a google account, allow background data, install apps that collect/store/share data, allowing apps to sync data with online servers, and the like, would be considered less private than not doing those things. So I would say it is a valid 'trick' that is slightly better as far as privacy is concerned. I can assure you the data usage when you do those things is much higher than when you do not.

But once again, if I care about my privacy to the nth degree then I would not have a cellphone...or a bank account...a registered vehicle...a shopping card...and I would use a disguise to avoid public cameras too...etc....etc....


And once again, my post was in regard to privacy when comparing one type of phone to another type of phone. In short, I do not see that much difference assuming you take some precautions. It was not meant as instructional how-to to circumvent any and all forms of privacy issues.
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Re: Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

Postby Randicus Draco Albus » August 30th, 2014, 8:08 am

Most people are so brainwashed by freedom, liberty and rights propaganda that they cannot think for themselves. My mobile telephone can access the internet from the nearest access point and the GPS device in my car is always connected to a satellite. How convenient! It does not occur to most people that connections are two-way. When a telephone uses the nearest broadcasting tower, the location of the telephone is known. When a vehicle is always connected to a satellite, the vehicle's location is always known. No. The connection is only two-way in theory. Those services were created for the convenience of the people. No one would use them to spy on us, because would be a violation of our freedom, rights and trust in the authorities. Anyone who is genuinely surprised by such "revelations" should be slapped on the side of the head.
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Re: Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

Postby debil » August 30th, 2014, 9:08 am

FretfulMother wrote:Well, get a used one. Chances are not that bad to get in touch with a drone in that case ... :-)

Good idea. Unless the previous owner had nicks like PTasseater at seedy web forums etc ;)

Also, LOL at Gollum reference. It's sad to look at.

meandean1 wrote:
FretfulMother wrote:You can be tracked by your phone simply being powered on

Any cellphone can be tracked to some degree including 'dumb' phones. If you care that much about your privacy then the obvious choice is to not have any cellphone whatsoever. But then again, if you care that much about privacy...well you should be living off the land, staying in a cave, and not carrying any identification at all.

True. I guess I'm aiming somewhere between the two extremes.

meandean1 wrote:I listen to music on it while mowing. I use it as a flashlight when I go in the basement. I use the calculator to figure up the best deal on toilet paper when I am at the store. I keep various notes, info, recipes on it. I use it to keep in touch with the two or three people I care to keep in touch with. I use it to look up something on web when I am sitting on the couch, sitting in traffic(got me out of a horrible traffic jam recently), outside with the chickens, and so forth. Take a picture. Make a video. Keep up with appointments. Record someones speech. Wake me up on trash day in time to set the trash out. Time me when swimming laps. Watch stupid youtube videos to pass the time. Play a game to pass the time. Download a file I need from the web. etc..

I was meaning to ask about people's use-cases. Huge thanks for this list!
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Re: Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

Postby FretfulMother » August 30th, 2014, 11:15 am

Dean, i meant you offer those three ability to track you in case of a cellphone, not in general
(while, as far i know, google and facebook are able to track you even if you ain't got accounts there. You are in the middle of some metadate. Slightly less then if you use all those services, as you have pointed out - also that _if one cares about privacy, then the best option is not to use a phone. Though, as soon one has no tracks nowhere, one is trackable as someone without tracks. iow: One is fucked, this way or the other).
You also offer those three access to your LAN (if you connect to it at home, duh). "access" isn't the best word to express what i mean.

I agree with the battery saving problem (well: who wouldn't). Helps a lot. I use mine as an mp3-player and use airplane-mode (like said: imho that helps shit as far privacy is concerned. Big of a fuck to get music on and off it, cause i can't plug the phone to the PC and simply rsync or mount or whatever. Remove SD-card, plug it in the laptop (first have to find the card whrere i have to stick the miniSD in, so it suits in the PC-slot), mount that, rm/cp/etc, unmount, put the other card back at it's place, put the SD-card back in the phone. .... Oh my ...

I can see (i agree) that a phone and a camera (including video) is a nice thing. If one phones, then phoning too.
I myself can type pretty fast on a keyboard (round 130 per minute, like a slow secretary). With a phone i need 2 minutes to type an URL in the browsers address-bar. in short: Doesn't really work for me.
My phone is old, camera is crap, so all i do is use it for music.
Besides that i am happy to have free time, say in a shop, so i don't get bugged with what is going on in the internet. I look at people (usually at girls assess, of course), just dream, or whatever. Anything is better than staring at a phone/monitor, as soon i am outside. That is me, of course. I don't get bored quickly.

That might be a shock: If i got a question on the road (say where is a certain street, or where i find stuff in a supermarket) i do what people do: I ask someone standing around.
To do what needs to be done (calendar): I got a real one on which i look if i go out.
A smartphone calendar would only make sense if i could sync it with my PC's calendar/tasklist (say osmo). To do so: a) it doesn't seem to be easy (no osmo for android) and c) what i said above. NSA and BKA get direct access to my tasks.

If you got that much data (like a calendar/friendlist/tasklist) on a phone, how do you back it up ?(i know there are options, but are they reliable? Say my phone is fucked, can i access those from a PC or laptop in the meantime? ).

But the most short version: I don't need entertainment to pass my time. The time passes well without me doing anything (it doesn't seem to bother bout me). And i don't need much digital help to do what needs to be done (pencil and paper or in other cases: asking people).
Nothing wrong with both, of course (need for entertainment and need for digital devices to get ones life sorted. Would be better if people would understand those devices and able to hack the shit out of it, though).

All that reminds me of the excitement when Win95 came out ("Ya mean ya really can write your shopping-list with a word-program and animated pictures? How cool is that?" 20 years later no one understands shit about computers - and a lot about excel- ... and runs in the same crap again).

For a toy they are way to expensive, imho. For 30 or 50 bucks i would get myself a good one (to make photos of my penis and post them to instagram, to listen to music, perhaps to browser bookmarked webpages now and then, but sure not to organize my life).
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Re: Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

Postby FretfulMother » August 30th, 2014, 11:17 am

PS: i don't see much of a point in a dumb phone neither.
For me, i can't speak for others (well: duh).

nother PS:
Good meme found somewhere:
It took 64 kB of Memory to get to the moon.
It takes 8 Gigs of Memory to send a selfie to facebook.
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Re: Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

Postby allthatisthecase » August 30th, 2014, 11:29 am

FretfulMother wrote:PS: i don't see much of a point in a dumb phone neither.
For me, i can't speak for others (well: duh).

nother PS:
Good meme found somewhere:
It took 64 kB of Memory to get to the moon.
It takes 8 Gigs of Memory to send a selfie to facebook.

Same here. A dumb phone is even less useful. Most people luckily know that I don't like being available 24/7, so hardly anyone calls me.

I like that meme and it shows something else I've been pondering about my "smart" phone: some ten years ago I had an AMD Duron 850 MHz that could play 3D games and run an entire operating system with a desktop environment. Now I have this Samsung phone with 800 MHz and more RAM than that old PC and it chokes when I have to very simple programmes open that basically just fetch text information from an online database.
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Re: Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

Postby debil » August 30th, 2014, 11:41 am

allthatisthecase wrote:
FretfulMother wrote:PS: i don't see much of a point in a dumb phone neither.

Same here. A dumb phone is even less useful. Most people luckily know that I don't like being available 24/7, so hardly anyone calls me.

Ditto. My motive is purely for traveling purposes. I mean, getting a phone (dumb or smart) to communicate with other people is soooo 90's anyway.
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Re: Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

Postby FretfulMother » August 30th, 2014, 11:43 am

For ages, if the phone at home rang, i picked it and said:
"Wer stört?"
(Englisch, kinda: "Who is it bothering me?").
I think it helped.

debil: It lacks comfort, but is anything wrong with public phones? (if traveling).
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Re: Psst! Your phone is snooping on you.

Postby allthatisthecase » August 31st, 2014, 1:49 pm

debil wrote:I mean, getting a phone (dumb or smart) to communicate with other people is soooo 90's anyway.

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