Your Privacy Is Safe With Us

The US CDC wants to track your every movement using your personal mass surveillance device, i.e., your mobile phone.

The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are asking Facebook, Google and other tech giants to give them greater access to Americans’ smartphone location data in order to help them combat the spread of the coronavirus, according to four people at companies involved in the discussions who are not authorized to speak about them publicly.

But don’t worry, the data are anonymized and there’s no chance that user-specific information would ever be released to the government. What could possibly go wrong?

N.B.: This article is ten days old. The only more recent article I turned up in a cursory search is this general complaint by Snowden. Of course, this is already going on in other countries.

11+
avataravataravataravataravataravataravataravataravataravataravatar

Author: drlorentz

photon whisperer & quantum mechanic

53 thoughts on “Your Privacy Is Safe With Us”

  1. Nothing is ever anonymized.  That’s all bull-manure.

    Technically, the info required to “de-anonymize” the data is typically withheld from some levels.  But do you think that anything ever gets erased?

    5+
    avataravataravataravataravatar
  2. I just heard that the South Korean government kept track of the movements of the South Koreans and was able to control the spread of the virus.

    2+
    avataravatar
  3. 10 Cents:
    I just heard that the South Korean government kept track of the movements of the South Koreans and was able to control the spread of the virus.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    – B. Franklin

    6+
    avataravataravataravataravataravatar
  4. Haakon Dahl:
    To corrupt Orwell, if there is hope, it lies in the incompetent.

    In that sense, the decline in the competence of our rulers is a blessing. It may be more than counterbalanced by the damage they do by incompetent decision-making. Witness their response to the Kung Flu.

    2+
    avataravatar
  5. drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    I just heard that the South Korean government kept track of the movements of the South Koreans and was able to control the spread of the virus.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    – B. Franklin

    IN getting the quote right, you dispel one of the myths about the idea.  Franklin was not a liberty absolutist.  He acknowledges the trade-off and appreciates the value of each asset.  His point is that giving up the CORE of one thing is a stupid price to pay for an shred of the other.

    Naturally, this is the deal we are perpetually offered.  Magic Beans for hard cash.  A romp for your eternal soul.

    7+
    avataravataravataravataravataravataravatar
  6. drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    I just heard that the South Korean government kept track of the movements of the South Koreans and was able to control the spread of the virus.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    – B. Franklin

    I suppose we have all unwittingly done this to get cell phone service.
    What should we do?

    3+
    avataravataravatar
  7. 10 Cents:

    drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    I just heard that the South Korean government kept track of the movements of the South Koreans and was able to control the spread of the virus.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    – B. Franklin

    I suppose we have all unwittingly done this to get cell phone service.
    What should we do?

    10 Cents:
    I want it to be known that the NSA is a wonderful institution with good people working there.

    seemingly if you want to live, keep your cell charged and online. If not and you go rogue…

    Fearing NSA by paying compliments will not get you passage on the ark.

    3+
    avataravataravatar
  8. Gerard:

    10 Cents:

    drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    I just heard that the South Korean government kept track of the movements of the South Koreans and was able to control the spread of the virus.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    – B. Franklin

    I suppose we have all unwittingly done this to get cell phone service.
    What should we do?

    10 Cents:
    I want it to be known that the NSA is a wonderful institution with good people working there.

    seemingly if you want to live, keep your cell charged and online. If not and you go rogue…

    Fearing NSA by paying compliments will not get you passage on the ark.

    What do you suggest?

    1+
    avatar
  9. 10 Cents:
    What should we do?

    In no particular order:

    1. Leave your phone at home.
    2. Get a burner.
    3. Keep your phone in Airplane Mode most of the time.
    4. Wrap your phone in heavy duty aluminum foil (aluminium for you foreigners), only unwrapping it occasionally.
    5. Get a cabin in Montana and go totally off grid but without the manifesto or the bombs. Changing name to Ted is optional.

    Hope that helps.

    6+
    avataravataravataravataravataravatar
  10. drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    What should we do?

    In no particular order:

    1. Leave your phone at home.
    2. Get a burner.
    3. Keep your phone in Airplane Mode most of the time.
    4. Wrap your phone in heavy duty aluminum foil (aluminium for you foreigners), only unwrapping it occasionally.
    5. Get a cabin in Montana and go totally off grid but without the manifesto or the bombs. Changing name to Ted is optional.

    Hope that helps.

    I find it is easier to wear pants suits, go to bookstores, and tell people about Russian collusion. The pay is good too.

    4+
    avataravataravataravatar
  11. We will never recover our civil liberties after this.  Did Congress eliminate the FISA courts, despite the appalling abuses we all learned about?

    Read Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle,  or watch the movie, which was pretty good.  There will be no escape except to drive your car off a cliff.

    1+
    avatar
  12. OK I am about to prove my utter backwardness by mentioning that I have only a flip phone, not a ‘smart’ phone – it only does phone calls & texts. Can they track that as well or does it have to be a smart phone?

    2+
    avataravatar
  13. Pencilvania:
    OK I am about to prove my utter backwardness by mentioning that I have only a flip phone, not a ‘smart’ phone – it only does phone calls & texts. Can they track that as well or does it have to be a smart phone?

    Yes that can be tracked but the methods are different and not nearly as accurate. With your phone, they would be tracking you through every ping your phone makes to the cell tower. With smart phones this method is more of a backdrop against the primary method of tracking which is predicated on continuous connection to a sat network.

    3+
    avataravataravatar
  14. Any more, the phones are so sophisticated that they just ask it where you are and it tells them.  A lot of this is now built into browsers, clients, and other apps, as well as deep down in the OS.  You’ll never root it out.

    Used to be you could fix this — not anymore.

    5+
    avataravataravataravataravatar
  15. Pencilvania:
    OK I am about to prove my utter backwardness by mentioning that I have only a flip phone, not a ‘smart’ phone – it only does phone calls & texts. Can they track that as well or does it have to be a smart phone?

    Even an ancient dumb phone (before the hardware was all compromised at the source) can be located to within about a city block just due to its nature as a cell phone.  Older phones had removable batteries which actually removed all power.

    Newer phones have non-removable batteries (well, not if you want to put it back in), and at any rate, I distrust the whole foul spying-based technology segment so much that I assume every device has a hidden power source to operate hidden circuitry.  *It’s what I would do if I were them.*

    A microphone smaller than the head of a pin connected to a computer smaller than a grain of sand can be powered by a capacitor smaller than a grain of rice, and it will be labelled something else on the motherboard, painted like a resistor if it’s really really big (long-grained rice).

    5+
    avataravataravataravataravatar
  16. Robert A. McReynoldssays:
    #19 2020-03-29 at 13:07 UTC

    Pencilvania:
    OK I am about to prove my utter backwardness by mentioning that I have only a flip phone, not a ‘smart’ phone – it only does phone calls & texts. Can they track that as well or does it have to be a smart phone?

    Yes that can be tracked but the methods are different and not nearly as accurate. With your phone, they would be tracking you through every ping your phone makes to the cell tower. With smart phones this method is more of a backdrop against the primary method of tracking which is predicated on continuous connection to a sat network.

     

    I recently attended a presentation on this subject. Bluetooth and WiFi are now being relied on due to increased accuracy.

    NB: prosecutors like Cell Phone data as it is a lot less accurate and easier to convince a jury that you were where they say you were. Blue Tooth and WiFi, due to its increased accuracy, is used by defense attorneys to challenge prosecutor’s claims.

    Regardless of your motivations, Blue Tooth and WiFi can narrow your location down to yards; not even close with cell phone data. I have my notes somewhere – if I can find the time today (hah!) I’ll review.

    4+
    avataravataravataravatar
  17. drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    I just heard that the South Korean government kept track of the movements of the South Koreans and was able to control the spread of the virus.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    – B. Franklin

    Oh sure, quote some old dead white guy why don’tcha. (Even though he is the discoverer of the electric powered kite and the only President of the United States who was never President of the United States.)

    1+
    avatar
  18. Ace Fungo:

    drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    I just heard that the South Korean government kept track of the movements of the South Koreans and was able to control the spread of the virus.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    – B. Franklin

    Oh sure, quote some old dead white guy why don’tcha. (Even though he is the discoverer of the electric powered kite and the only President of the United States who was never President of the United States.)

    Fake News! He was president. He is on the hundred dollar bill, Ace.  Sheesh!

    0

Leave a Reply