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The US National Security Agency, after all, is a government agency, with a well-defined notion of "Top Secret" and so-on. At the very least, there does exist some body-of-law that supposedly applies to them . . .
Instead, you should be fearing the private corporations who want to use your phone to know ... within seven feet, more-or-less ... exactly where you are: in a grocery store, at the gas station, or even in your own house.
When you "innocently" pick up your phone at the phone-store and slip it into your pocket, little do you know that it is 24/7 collecting such information (so they say, "anoymously ..." small comfort(?) ...) about you, and beaming it "somewhere." Yes, Virginia, all of those settings were "automatically preset" for you. Don't you worry your pretty little head about a thing . . .
Well, maybe it's high time that we do "worry our pretty little heads about" all those petabytes of profoundly personal data that is right-now being "Hadoop-ed" about all of us ... by private companies ... without the slightest protection of laws that haven't even been written yet.
As it turns out, "George Orwell was right." He only missed the date by 20 years.
I mostly agree, to this extent. I am not a fan of the NSA and think they need to be reigned in. In other words, I can't say "Fear not" as regards the NSA.
But, for the rest of it, I think the corporate data sponges are a greater danger. The NSA at least thinks it is serving some sort of higher purpose, however warped their view of their own conduct and their purpose may be. Corporations serve only mammon.
Example: I have the LQ app on my Zareason tablet and have used it exactly once. (It actually works pretty well, by the way.)
Today, I was browsing the "Play Store," and had one item pop up with the note that it was "Popular with persons who visit LinuxQuestion.org."
There are a lot of things you can do without. A mobile phone is one of them. I own one, but it hasn't been switched on for about 4 years. I decided to not take it with me one day and it's still in the drawer. It's liberating when you're not always available. I guess it's more liberating, in the literal sense, when Google doesn't know your location all the time...
Some modern cars have inbuilt GPS tracking too, by the way. They always know where it is.
They can keep their tablets, smart phones and GPS tracking. I didn't need them 15 years ago and I don't need them today. It's quite enough that they can listen in on my landline phone calls and read my e-mails without a warrant or the slightest suspicion of criminal activity (not even East Germany did that).
You know, actually, you brought much of this 1984 society on yourselves. There are some things we can't easily get away from (like the NSA and FRA), but no one's forcing you to use Facebook, Google, smart phones et c.
Even the "dumbest" phones sold in stores today have GPS and data capabilities. I find it difficult to think that this is simply market-driven.
However, there are today many, many ways to collect petabytes of personally identifiable information about "everyone, literally," and you need look no farther than the help-wanted ads which talk about "Hadoop" to know that it is being collected even by the most improbable companies.
And, so far as I know, there are basically no laws or regulations yet. People don't know that this is being done to them, nor the extent to which it is being done, nor do they have nor are they given any choice in the matter. And the risks associated with this state of affairs are pure-and-simply unknown.
Whatever data the NSA, etc., might be collecting ... well, presumably they know what to do with large and secret data sets. But this stuff is addictive, and everyone, it would seem, has got some now.
Nope, cars have upload capabilities too. You don't know about it, you didn't consent to it, but there it is.
"Hi, there. This is your insurance company. We've just raised your rates because we determined that you've driven up to 6.75 miles over the speed-limit in various places that you are in, in 11 of the last 25 days. Don't think about complaining because we've shared the data with every other company, too. We've also noticed that you like to go to Starbucks Coffee, although you always park on the side opposite the store and walk across the parking lot to get in. Furthermore, we've determined that even though you have a garage, you don't pull your car into it."
"And if this isn't what you want ... so sorry ... not only are there no laws against it, but we are also Generous Contributors to your favorite elected officials. Maybe someday things might change, but don't count on it ... This is our data, we collected it, we can do anything we want to with it, and you have no say in the matter."
Like I said, George Orwell was incorrect only by being a mere 20 years off. And none of you can say that I am wrong on that, because I'm not wrong on that. All of which should scare the hell out of you.
Yeah, but don't you usually have to pay for that service for it to be even activated? I'd question whether there's a business case for "tracking" this "data" for non-subscribers.
I don't know what they do with it, but this is what they've said:
Farley was trying to describe how much data Ford has on its customers, and illustrate the fact that the company uses very little of it in order to avoid raising privacy concerns: "We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone," he told attendees.
"I absolutely left the wrong impression about how Ford operates. We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or their consent," he says. "The statement I made in my eyes was hypothetical and I want to clear this up."
We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing.
By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone...
Big deal! Why do you have it? Since when was "GPS in my car" authorized, or even contemplated, to tell [Ford Motor Company] anything at all about "what I'm doing" in one of their cars?
The completely-unregulated existence of these massive datasets of ... yes, absolutely "personally identifiable" ... information, surreptitiously gathered and held by private corporations ... should be a thing that is prohibited by international law throughout the world. Laws that are rigorously enforced.
"I don't care what you say you will or won't do with it ... you should not be permitted to possess it," because: "the thing itself" is what is unacceptably risky.
This is a jinn that we do not want to let out of the bottle. We do not even want the bottle at all.
Last edited by sundialsvcs; 02-26-2014 at 10:32 AM.