Pure Evil: “AP Exclusive: Google tracks your movements, like it or not”

The sole purpose of Android is to spy on its users. Researchers discover that even when you disable location tracking services throughout Android, Google continues to track your every movement.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.

Source: AP Exclusive: Google tracks your movements, like it or not

Google revised their old motto of “Don’t be evil” to “Do be evil”.

Google repeatedly insists, when caught spying on people, that data collection was due to a software error or that they do not store the data. All of their errors are on the side of collecting more data, never the reverse.

Up through Android 7, you could easily swipe down from the top notification bar and click to turn Location off. Android 8 removed that feature and you must now go into Settings, page down, find location and then turn it off. Google intentionally made it harder to disable their spying service.

In the past, Google was found tracking users who had no SIM card in their phone. Google was collecting tracking data and then uploading to Google when the device connected to Wi-Fi.

The user interface in Android to disable all the features to – presumably – reduce Google’s tracking of you is convoluted and not a quick “turn it off”. It’s easier to go to a web browser on your computer and go to the Google Dashboard (just search for that), and then look for the Search Activity item on the right hand side of the screen, click the down arrow icon, then click on Go to Web & App Activity. Here you can change settings (I turn most of them to off).

And while on this page, you can delete Google’s past history by selecting “Delete Activity by”, and then select “All Time” and “All products”.

Select Other Google Activity – here you can see online comments you have posted, and view your YouTube Likes and Dislikes. It used to be impossible to delete your Liked video selections as you had to go to each and every past Youtube video and unlike the video. Now there is an option labeled “Delete All”.

Does this actually delete the records? We have no idea. It might, for example, merely hide the data collection from you so that it looks like it was deleted but it actually remains on the Google servers.

“Likes” on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the *primary* method used to analyzer your interests. All of these services use your collection of Likes to discern what products or services you may like, even what your political affiliation is (Facebook datamined my likes and friend’s list to identify me as both a Democrat and a Republican, simultaneously, even though I do not belong or affiliate with either political party).

Each time you innocently click on Like, you are adding data to the dossier that they maintain on you, specifically. Consequently, Likes are a primary “currency” of their global surveillance operation.

You will also need to go to the My Activity tab and delete everything there too. Google makes it some what cumbersome to delete their spying records.

#Facebook to force “Page” owners to hand over verified phone number and address information

We’re introducing Page publishing authorization starting with people who manage a Page with a large audience in the US.

Source: New Authorization for Pages | Facebook Business

Facebook can and will use the phone number as a personal identifier with which to track one’s activities outside of Facebook. I did not give Facebook my phone number because I know they use that to cross link your account to third party data.

Have you ever used a store loyalty card? All of those are associated with your phone number and are used by retailers to track all of your purchases. That information, in turn, is sold to third party data aggregators, such as Axciom, who in turn re-sell the collection of data to others. The data is used, presumably, to target marketing efforts. The phone number is the key identifier used to link together your online (Facebook, Twitter, ad networks) with your offline retail purchase history.

I run a software programming page that likely falls into the category of requiring this new verification. That page is the primary reason I did not delete my Facebook account, but instead dropped out of about 65 groups, unfollowed all other Pages and removed about 1/4 of my “friends.

Detailed voter information and profiles for millions of American’s leaked to the web

Social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google attempt to discern our interests and voting profile by interpreting the text we write, the texts we receive, the posts we like and share, the web sites we visit, and combine that with data purchased from third party companies that collect our credit card purchases and store loyalty card purchases. Google is just as bad as Facebook.

This information is compiled into a dossier on each of us and is sold to others for the purpose of influencing us – usually to buy something but also to adopt someone else’s ideology. Many of the conclusions are based upon unverified assertions – and are often not true.

However, this data is widely distributed. Unfortunately, one company stored the information in an unsecured cloud (they believe they inadvertently marked it as “public” rather than “private”) and now these detailed profiles of millions of Americans, including their name, address, phone number, salary and estimated wealth, political affiliation, hobbies, interests and more has been leaked.

Some of the files, which were primarily Excel spreadsheets, contained details about specific voters that went far beyond information that is publicly available through voter rolls compiled by state governments, which often include name, address, phone number, and party affiliation.

 

One spreadsheet described voters in the Bronx with labels such as “Fragile Families” and “Meager Metro Means.” Another estimated the net worth and annual income of individual Floridians. Others listed specific hobbies and interests for each voter, such as NASCAR, woodworking, and scuba diving. Several noted whether or not someone owned a gun.

Source: Millions of U.S. Voter Records Exposed on Robo-Call Company RoboCent’s Poorly-Configured AWS Cloud Storage – IEEE Spectrum

This data is collected by third parties. We have no control over the data they collect nor any way to correct assertions that are wildly inaccurate or out of date. Facebook, for example, believes I am both a Republican and a Democrat, simultaneously, but in reality I belong to neither party.

Essentially all data about each of us – including the assertions that may not be true – has been released to the wild due to numerous security leaks at multiple services. Hell, earlier in July 2018, Dignity Health emailed me, in the clear, the 101 page medical history of one of their patients. Information security is viewed as a suggestion, not a mandate. RoboCent, who leaked the voter records, does no business with the people it impacted – thus, the people are powerless to provide a market-based response to the incompetent leadership of RoboCent.

UK government says Facebook’s friend of friends data was accessed from Russia and other countries

Not surprisingly, the leaky data sieve that is Facebook, had its trove of personal data accessed from Russia and other countries (which likely includes the U.S.?):

The now infamous Facebook data set on tens of millions of Americans gathered by a Cambridge University scientist for a firm that went on to worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was accessed from Russia, a British member of parliament tells CNN.

Source: Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook data was accessed from Russia, MP says

As noted in the story, access appears to have been made from many countries. The headline focuses on Russia because that’s a hot bottom media meme right now (lots of accusations without supporting evidence).

The bigger issue remains that Facebook is a global surveillance network that tracks everyone’s online activities and has been buying offline consumer purchasing data to integrate into their own database. Facebook, historically, gave third parties access to this data – including allowing apps to gather data on friends of friends who never gave permission. Facebook has leaked this data like a sieve leaks water. Everything we’ve ever done on FB should be assumed as having been collected by numerous third parties.

Russian intelligence may have access to US Facebook user data

A Russian internet company with links to the Kremlin could have had access to the Facebook data of millions of people in the US without their knowledge, CNN has learned.

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“What this means is that all data that Facebook users shared through this agreement with Mail.Ru is now available to the Russian intelligence services. All of it. And that is incredibly troubling,” Carpenter said.

Source: Russian company could have accessed Facebook data on millions of Americans, source says

We presume that U.S. intelligence agencies already had access. Of interest, Facebook is building out an enormous data center almost next door to the NSA’s huge Utah Data Center.

Facebook and mail.ru deny any collection of data. Facebook has, in the past, frequently denied direct and indirect data collection only to reveal later that data was collected by third parties.

Facebook ‘closed’ and private groups were not confidential

Facebook users may choose to belong to private or closed groups. Some joined a private group for people having a gene associated with breast cancer – and likely did not want that information publicly shared.

However, a feature of Facebook enabled Chrome plug-ins to harvest the names of members of closed groups.

“A genetic test result like BRCA is protected by HIPAA [the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] and it can’t be shared with marketers, if it is in a medical record. But a social networking site is not covered by HIPAA”

Source: Facebook ‘closed’ groups weren’t as confidential as some thought

The 1996 HIPAA law covered many things, including the privacy of health information. The above shows how marketing firms (and others) strive to discern health information about individuals based on their purchase records, their online group memberships, and online services analyzing our email correspondence. While health care providers and insurers are to adhere to HIPAA privacy rules, once the information is outside these entities, health care information no longer has any protection requirements.

On Monday of this week, Dignity Health of California emailed to me the entire 101 page medical history of one of their patients. Literally, they emailed someone’s entire medical history to a random stranger on the Internet. I have no relationship with Dignity Health.

Searching online I found that HIPAA violations are as common as rain falling in Portland, Oregon. HIPAA seems to be more of a suggestion in terms of how health privacy is abused every day!

Can email scanners steal medical records? Yes

This week, one of the largest health care providers in the State of California emailed to me the entire 101 page medical records of one of their patients. I have no relationship with this health care provider and do not live in California.

  • In 2018, how is it possible that a major health care provider would send protected patient information (PHI) over unsecured email? This boggles the mind.
  • In 2018, how is it possible that a major health care provider is sending PHI to an unverified email address? Mind blown.

By sending someone’s medical records to a random stranger on the Internet (me), this health care provider lost all control of their patient’s medical records.

I informed the provider and I also filed a HIPAA violation complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights, which enforces the HIPAA privacy requirements. (If you know of health care PHI privacy violations, you can file a complaint with the information provided here.)

Because this medical record landed in my GMail Inbox, we know that Google’s artificial intelligence software scanned, analyzed, interpreted and took notes about what was contained in the record.

This health care record has nothing to do with me but what ever is in that record has now likely been incorporated into Google’s dossier on me. The result is that the Google database of what they think they know about each of us becomes more and more inaccurate over time. Since I receive a large quantity of misdirected email, the Google dossier is likely messed up.

Google claims their dossier is not for sale and is used only by the Google Ad network for ad placements. Presumably the ads shown will be shaped by the incorrect information they have collected.

This has interesting implications for privacy.

Smart TVs track everything you watch, and link that to your computer and smart phone connected devices too

Once enabled, Samba TV can track nearly everything that appears on the TV on a second-by-second basis, essentially reading pixels to identify network shows and ads, as well as programs on Netflix and HBO and even video games played on the TV. Samba TV has even offered advertisers the ability to base their targeting on whether people watch conservative or liberal media outlets and which party’s presidential debate they watched.

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Samba TV can also identify other devices in the home that share the TV’s internet connection.

Source: How smart TVs in millions of U.S. homes track more than what’s on tonight :: WRAL.com

The primary business of the Internet is surveillance and propaganda.

Google is misleading people about “we don’t read your email”

Google has been a little more careful than Facebook when it comes to protecting your privacy. For example, the company stopped using contents of user emails on Gmail to personalize its ads back in 2017.

But if you’re not careful about granting permissions in Gmail to third-party apps, your emails could still theoretically fall into the wrong hands. To check which third-party apps you’ve allowed to access your Gmail, go to myaccount.google.com and click on “Apps with account access.”
In the post, Frey also points out that “no one at Google reads your Gmail.”

Source: Google says no one is reading your emails, except…

Except for artificially intelligent software systems that are, in fact, reading and interpreting your emails and creating databases of information based on the email content.

This is easily proven as I show in this post and is documented in their privacy policy (a.k.a. anti-privacy policy).

Technically, they are correct that “no one [humans] at Google reads your Gmail” – they have offloaded that task entirely to AI software systems that simulate humans reading your email.

Google argues that it discloses this in its privacy policy. However, Google also scans email that you receive, sent to you by people who never consented to Google reading their email.