Headline, October06, 2013

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BYE-BYE Privacy:

!Government snooping is big part of the worry! . But the market demand has just gone crazy and is driving some of the biggest collectors of data. Mobile advertising is now an over $7 billion industry.

And identifying potential customers based on their personal information is the new frontier.

Year before last reports showed that free and cheap apps were capable of everything from collecting location information to images a phone is seeing. One app with image collection capabilities,  

''Tiny Flashlight'' , uses a phone's camera as a flashlight and has been installed at least over 50 million times on phones around the world. 

Tiny Flashlight's author, Bulgarian programmer Nikolay Ananiyev denies this. According to him his program does not collect the images or send them to third parties.

Then just later, news broke that a company named Carrier IQ had installed software on as many as  ''150 million phones''  that accesses users texts, call histories, Web usage an location histories without users' knowing consent. 

Carrier IQ says it does not record. store or transmit the data but uses it to measure performance

In February of the same year, Facebook,Yelp,Foursquare and Instagram apps, among others, were reporting to be uploading contact information from iPhones and iPads 

The software makers told the blog VentureBeat that they only use the contact information when propmpted by users. ''No app is free,'' says one senior executive at a phone carrier.''You pay for them with your privacy.''

Many consumers are happy to do so, an so far there hasn't been much actual damage!!?, at least not that private advocates can sharply point to. The question is where to draw the line. For instance, half of smart      phone users make banking transactions via their mobile device.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has brought 40 enforcement cases in recent years against companies for improperly storing customers' private information.

Law enforcement is subject some oversight. Absent an emergency, prosecutors and police must convince a judge that the cell information they are seeking from wireless companies is material to a criminal case under investigation. 

An unusual alliance between liberals and conservatives is pushing a bill to impose the same requirements for cell tracking data as those that are in place when cops want to get a warrant to search a house.

Another bill would increase restrictions on what app writers can do with personal info. Cases moving through the courts may limit what law enforcement can do with GPS tracking.

Tech companies since long have been trying to get a handle on the issue. Apple has a single customer privacy policy. Google posts the permission that consumers give each app to operate their phones hardware and software, including authorization to access camera and audio feeds and pass on locations or contact info.

The rush to keep up with technology will only get harder: the next surge in surveillance is text messaging. Industry experts say, as companies and cops look for new ways to tap technology for their own purposes.

But then do think hope? Last Pass Premium Security consolidates multiple passwords into the Master key for your computer and smartphone. And Google's Chrome has an ''incognito'' mode, and when you are done, your browsing history and cookies self destrcuct.
Or so we think?!!

With respectful dedication to the Students of the World.
See Ya all on the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:
''' !!!The Grand Vision ^^^ '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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