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-   -   'In Stores, Secret Bluetooth Surveillance Tracks Your Every Move ' (https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/general-10/in-stores-secret-bluetooth-surveillance-tracks-your-every-move-4175655796/)

RandomTroll 06-16-2019 03:50 AM

'In Stores, Secret Bluetooth Surveillance Tracks Your Every Move '
 
Quote:

'To protect yourself from beacons in the short term, you can delete any apps that may be spying on you - including apps from retailers - and shut off location services and Bluetooth where they are not needed. You can also follow The Times's guide on how to stop apps from tracking your location. For Android users, the F-Droid app store hosts free and open- source apps that do not spy on users with hidden trackers.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...g-privacy.html

greencedar 06-16-2019 04:32 AM

I also read this in the article:

Quote:

And last year, investigators at Quartz found that Google Android can track you using Bluetooth beacons even when you turn Bluetooth off in your phone.

For years, Apple and Google have allowed companies to bury surveillance features inside the apps offered in their app stores. And both companies conduct their own beacon surveillance through iOS and Android.
I would encourage everyone to read this article carefully.

syg00 06-16-2019 04:35 AM

I'm astounded any informed user is unaware of issues like this. Uninformed users are likely to gloss over it unfortunately.

enorbet 06-16-2019 10:53 AM

I am somewhat curious about how this can be controlled by such things as installing Linux as a parallel to Android. Aren't firewalls possible to examine and limit uploads? ... or is this locked in proprietary firmware?

ugjka 06-16-2019 12:02 PM

This is class action lawsuit waiting to happen. Just need to break the camel's back :)

fido_dogstoyevsky 06-16-2019 05:43 PM

I've just read the article - it's desperately needed information, but it's not really news.

Edit: added "I've"

Contrapak 06-16-2019 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fido_dogstoyevsky (Post 6006092)
but it's not really news.

I disagree. There might be some people aware this is happening, but there are certainly a large portion of the population who are oblivious. This is newsworthy.

frankbell 06-16-2019 08:46 PM

Quote:

I'm astounded any informed user is unaware of issues like this.
I'm not.

There are various levels of being "informed." Persons may be "informed" (for example, when they get a message from Google asking how they liked their visit to "Joe's Diner"), but say to themselves, well, I trust Google and it's okay (they shouldn't and it isn't)--and not realize that Google is using that information to profile them, then using the profile to further undermine their privacy.

Then there are the "I got nothing to hide so it's okay" folks (I know one) who naively think that they have or always will have nothing to hide. They have no concept that "private" does not mean nefarious--it means only nobody else's business.

fido_dogstoyevsky 06-16-2019 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Contrapak (Post 6006127)
I disagree. There might be some people aware this is happening, but there are certainly a large portion of the population who are oblivious. This is newsworthy.

I agree that a great many people are wilfully oblivious, but they're unlikely to believe the article.

This misuse of bluetooth is just another step along the road built when unauthorised (by the device owner) collecting or sharing of information wasn't made a gaolable (or jailable, if you prefer) offence. As news, it's old.

ondoho 06-17-2019 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by enorbet (Post 6005934)
... or is this locked in proprietary firmware?

this.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ugjka (Post 6005957)
This is class action lawsuit waiting to happen. Just need to break the camel's back :)

One can always hope...

Quote:

Originally Posted by fido_dogstoyevsky (Post 6006150)
I agree that a great many people are wilfully oblivious

I agree too. Nice phrase btw, "wilfully oblivious".

Pastychomper 06-17-2019 04:13 AM

I have an Android 'phone that's fairly open about its ability to magically detect nearby BT and Wifi devices when the respective functions are "turned off," so the idea of Google (or Samsung) using them for tracking is no surprise to me.

The article solved a mystery for me though. My 'phone has an optional "high accuracy" location setting that claims to use BT and Wifi to improve on the various GNSS signals it uses. It makes no obvious difference to any of the mapping apps I use, but the stock camera app won't add location information to pictures without it. Now I can see both how it's supposed to work (in the locations where I'm least likely to use it :rolleyes:) and why Someone™ is so keen for me to use it.

The position of the "balance" is interesting. It seems that anyone sufficiently interested can find out what tracking is being done, and can even turn it off because Google et al put little switches in obscure locations with misleading labels so they can claim consent. The situation could be far better, but could also be far worse.

syg00 06-17-2019 04:29 AM

The later versions of Android (and of course lineage) give you more control over what functionality apps have authority to use. I give everything the "ok" on install, then go back and turn it all off. Some things get snaky (google itself and gopro e.g.) but I allow them when I want to use them, then disable it again. Fsck 'em.

Lysander666 06-17-2019 06:13 AM

Use a dumbphone, going on four years here.

m.a.l.'s pa 06-17-2019 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lysander666 (Post 6006246)
Use a dumbphone, going on four years here.

Trying to decide if I want to do this, and wondering how much I'd miss the smartphone.

enorbet 06-17-2019 01:40 PM

I, too, have been using a dumb phone for around 4 years now but since it is "a burner" the provider is forcing an upgrade claiming my current phone will soon be unusable with the "upgraded" network. This is why I'm asking if an Android phone which has a parallel installation of a complete Linux OpSys might be useful in controlling Android, or at the very least what can get in and what goes out since i will have root. Even if such spyware possibilities are in firmware there is at least the possibility of bit-flipping to alter even that. Maybe I am hoping for too much but I have substantially replaced and altered a considerable number of firmware devices in the past IF they were designed to accept any updating at all, and a handful that were not. The latter, of course, required physical chip replacement but that may well be nearly impossible within the wave-soldered extreme miniaturization in smartphones.


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