Behind the scenes, seemingly benign Android apps are scooping up huge amounts of private data about your life and sharing with third parties. We need to assume, apparently, that 100% of Android apps are spyware. This is why Android apps are “free” – when its free, you are the product.
The photos of all of us have been amassed to create a massive database. A photo of our face can be submitted and it will identify the person (claimed 99% accuracy) and return information about each of us and all photos of us they have found online, even back to when we were kids. They scraped all of our photos from – social media posts. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more – possibly even personal web sites. If your photo is on social media, you are in their database. There is no way to request removal, even if the photo is of a child whose information is protected by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
The sole purpose of technology has morphed into 24 x 7 surveillance. Even the FAA’s new proposed rules for “remote ID” of small UAS (model aircraft) will require that you transmit once per second, in real time, details of your flight and who is flying, into an Internet connected FAA database accessible by law enforcement even from inside your own home. There might be a problem with the 4th Amendment on that latter point but no one seems to care. It’s spying on everyone, all the time.
Accessing everyone’s detailed health data is not enough for Google. Now they want to offer a checking account service so they can monitor your financial records.
A bug, of course, activates the iPhone camera while using the Facebook app.
School districts are subscribing to Gaggle, a service that provides total surveillance of students, scanning their email, their Microsoft Office 365 documents, their photos – even their social media accounts. Software analyzes their text and attempts (with a high false positive rate) to determine misbehavior, threatening behavior or suicidal tendencies. Regardless every thing students do is placed under constant 24×7 electronic surveillance.
In the wake of violent mass murder events in recent weeks, there are instant media analyses that these actions are due to lax gun laws, video games, mental health problems or social media influence. There is an undercurrent that more surveillance of social media can make accurate automated diagnoses of psychiatric disorders and predict people’s future actions. There does not appear to be evidence that more invasive surveillance and artificial intelligence-based analysis would have meaningful impact on these problems. But this is becoming the predominant propaganda message now spreading through the media
Police routinely ask Google to provide information about all phones within a neighborhood of a crime. This has resulted, in at least one example, of an innocent man arrested for murder. While released a week later, he was fired from his job – even though he was 100% innocent. Further, from the linked news article, Google retrains location information for potentially forever – we already know that Google collects location data even when you disable Location services.
Amazon staff listen to Alexa recorded audio but only an “extremely small number of interactions from a random set of customers”.
Facebook’s business is spying on people. Even if you do not have a Facebook app installed on your device, they still collect data via third-party apps.