Privacy vs paranoia rant

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Gary V, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. Gary V

    Gary V Tracker

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    This topic fits best here over any other sub I could find. I'm talking about privacy concerning cell phones, computers and other electronic devices. I think privacy is an important part of preparedness.

    A few days ago I got a new cell phone - haven't had one for 4+ years. It has globs of pre-installed apps that want your location, data, contacts and just about any other information they can siphon. As a bonus, I had this phone for 2 days and I'm already getting calls from telemarketers for #@% sake.

    I had a problem on my desktop computer this week and had to reset the Win 10 installation. I open a fresh install of Chrome browser, open google map then lo and behold it knows my location and I'm getting local advertisements. There is no GPS in my PC, I was not signed in to google and I have every setting in google set to private mode. Apparently google can track your location pretty accurately via your IP.

    I'm amazed that people just accept this. I try to discuss this with others and they act like you're some kind of paranoid nut. I don't believe I'm paranoid. To me it's not normal and I don't like it.

    It's very likely that in a SHTF scenario no one could access this information so I take solace in that.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  2. hlydon

    hlydon Scout

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    I think a distinction to be made is voluntary, knowing tracking versus involuntary, unknowing tracking.

    One might say you consent when you use the technology. I disagree. There is no real consent without full disclosure first.

    I’m amazed by how many people praise technology like Google maps which shows traffic conditions. How does Google know what the traffic is like? It’s tracking the movement of your phone!
     
  3. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I block my location except for 911. I found it in the settings somewhere. joe
     
  4. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    At least, your phone number wasn't issued to someone who was deep in debt collection calls and got cut off last week. Cell carriers have a limited pool of numbers to re-issue out, that's what happens with new issued numbers.

    Using Google for search engines and mapping is probably the worst PERSEC thing one could do. Years back my corporate firewall would tell me all search terms used for Google search entry's before they https'ed their main search. Talk about TMI (too-much-information), without wanting to know anything about my co-workers I instantly knew way too much personal info. Try using something like DuckDuckGo for searching.
     
  5. Ron

    Ron Guide

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    Saw a test on youtube the other day that google is able to track you, and does, no matter wether your positioning app is on or off.
    And it was scaringly accurate showing where the guy had been, for how long and where he had walked or sriven, calculating the time and distance.
    You only have privacy without smartphone. Turning it off does not set you free either as was shown.
     
  6. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Here's a few good ones. A couple of weeks ago a friend at work was telling me about a Joe Rogan podcast with a specific guest. I've never once listened to Joe Rogan or searched for him on any device. I got home that night and that specific podcast was in my recommended videos on YouTube.

    Also a few weeks ago there was a loud noise coming from my neighbors house. My wife yelled downstairs asking what it was. I looked outside and saw he was using his pressure washer. I yelled "Pressure washer" upstairs. The next day I had multiple ads on-line for pressure washers. I don't own one and have never searched for one on-line.

    This one could possibly be explained since I've mentioned it on here a couple of time. My knees have been bothering me a lot more the last week or so and like a good infantryman, I've been complaining about it. I've seen multiple ads on knee braces and knee replacement surgery on-line.

    Maybe I'm paranoid but I feel like the cell phones are listening.
     
  7. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    I watched the movie "Snowden" a while back. That, and the recent Facebook, Google & Amazon issues have given me a clear understanding that if you participate in modern society, you have exactly zero privacy. Let that just wash over you and accept it because it's reality.

    PS- Am I the only one freaked out by those Alexa type devices?
     
  8. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    ^^^ this ^^^
     
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  9. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Look to Europe for sanity and what the proper balance is. Basically, corporations force us to read the small print and check a box to move on with use of our free apps and services. In Europe, it's exactly the opposite. Corporations get nothing but money up front; everything else is an exception (including people's "information".

    Americans want convenient and "free" (so, a Google program that automatically cross references everything you do once it learns your home address, home IP, and cell phone number).

    Europeans learned from WW2 that privacy has a great deal of value, and are much more willing to pay for things (like apps, internet, etc.)
     
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  10. bluecow

    bluecow Scout

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    read Franklin Foer WORLD WITHOUT MIND. he worked in the big tec co. welcome to 1984 yall
     
  11. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    Where I do get very guarded is with my social security number. Back in the 80s when I was in the military, we used to tell everyone that number. These days, everyone still wants it, but they can financially ruin you if their security isn't up to speed. For that reason I simply refuse to give it out to anyone I feel doesn't need it. Why should I give my SSN to my doctor, dentist or cell phone company? They don't need it to provide a service to me.
     
  12. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    And then there’s the very foolish “you have nothing to worry about unless you have something to hide” argument.

    JohnP
     
  13. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Couldn’t agree more. I always it leave it blank and it hasn’t been an issue. Kinda wonder why they ask for it in the first place.

    JohnP
     
  14. Luzster

    Luzster Of course your opinion matters, just not to me... Supporter

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    Its actually against federal law for anyone to use your SSN as a form of identification. I've refused to do business with certain entities because without my SSN, they couldn't do anything else. When I pointed out to them, and subsequently showed them the law via the internet, all I got was the deer in the headlights look from them. The DoD has gone back to service ID numbers and is moving away from SSNs. We're still in the transitioning phase, so some systems use DODID numbers while some still use SSNs. They did this because of the law about SSNs.
     
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  15. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Same here. Thought I was good without one but if the cell phone is doing the same thing...

    I remember having my SSN stenciled on the side of my duffel bag in the Army. I think I still have it somewhere actually.
     
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  16. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    Google gets the traffic data from government sources, android phones (google maps on or not, as long as location services is on and you have the app on your phone), traffic cameras. Doesn't get it from iphones unless you are actually on google maps.
     
  17. Zunga

    Zunga Supporter Supporter

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    In regard to the location setting on your phone. I keep mine off. During install of a app it can turn it on. Always wise to Check your setting after a software install. Have a great day everyone!:dblthumb:
    Cheers Jim
     
  18. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Ha, you think your paranoid I have a folded piece of paper over the top of my lap top screen to cover up the camera lens so the black suits can't watch me or what's happening in my den. IMG_5502.JPG
     
  19. ManyHammers

    ManyHammers Supporter Supporter Banned

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    Turn the phone off and put it in a tin with a lid. Try tracking that!
     
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  20. Gary V

    Gary V Tracker

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    You hit it on the head. By default privacy settings are off and and they are taking your information before you have a chance to change them. That's not right. Google is so convoluted that you almost have to take a course on their software to find them all.

    edit
    p.s. It's nice to hear some common sense comments on this subject for a change!
     
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  21. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    I do one better , I just leave it at home in case I go out anywhere just like I did for 50 years with my old pre cellular land line phone.
     
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  22. Skruffy

    Skruffy Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Maybe I can add a little bit of clarity to this murky subject. I think there is some confusion as to what information is available to various technologies and what information is 'personally identifiable' - meaning the information contains data that can be used to identify you as an individual.

    The PC/Phone/Tablet location services use the location of the nearest connection point (Cell tower/WiFi/Internet) to identify your location. The location services have no idea who you are, only that a device is communicating with the access point thereabouts. You can't really turn this off, but you can block your device from sharing geolocation data with applications on your device.

    Most websites and applications cache data on your PC to assist in speeding up their services. For example, an online shopping cart creates a tiny file on your PC (called a cookie) to store your selections so when you go to make your purchases the items you selected are shown in your shopping cart. At this point, no personally identifiable information is available to the site. When you complete your purchase and provide shipping information then you are giving the information to them with your knowledge and permission.

    Additionally, many websites create cookies on your PC to store information about your user preferences and navigation history. Unless you have your device set to clear these cookies, they remain available and can also be read by other websites to track what websites you have been to, and what items you were looking at/shopping for. But these cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

    If you wonder how a website knows where you've been and what you were looking at, that's how it works. Personally, I have my browsers and apps set to clear cookies and cached data every time the browser or app is closed. I also have goelocation information sharing disabled. Not because I am worried about ID theft, but because I hate the annoying targeted advertising.

    Hope this helps a bit ... :)
     
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  23. bigfoots

    bigfoots Scout

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    lol good idea!
     
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  24. Philly-Billy

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    Glad to read this thread. I say these things all the time and all I get are blank stares and the " don't be crazy, paranoid, Luddite, etc" response.

    Most people don't care as long as they can use their devices. It's creepy to me.
     
  25. Zoev

    Zoev Scout Bushclass II

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    I highly recommend duckduckgo as a search engine and using a linux distro as your OS if these things are worrying you. Unfortunately, outside of FOSS, passive collection of data is becoming the business model to go by.
     
  26. Gary V

    Gary V Tracker

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    Right from the start your unique IP address is personally identifiable when you sign in to google, Amazon, Facebook or any company that knows your real identity. They can easily connect the dots, i.e. the cookies on your computer to your real life identity when they see that IP again regardless if you're signed in or not. If you use Chrome browser for example, google still knows who you are and what you are browsing and every time you log in to gmail you update your IP information for them.
     
  27. Skruffy

    Skruffy Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I agree for the most part. When you "sign in" (if the account is a 'real' person account and not a dummy one that provides no personal information other than an email address). The caveat would be; by creating an account, providing personal information, and signing in you have agreed to their 'Terms of Service' and agree, for the most part, to give them, and their affiliates, access to personally identifiable information. If you do not create an account, do not provide personal information, then the IP address can only identify what network you connected from (by the DHCP assigned IP address of your device) They would have to have access to your ISP's authentication logs to identify the subscriber account assigned to that IP address at that particular time.
     
  28. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    In this day and age if you want to hide , some one is going to go out of their way to find out why .
     
  29. doulos

    doulos Guide

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    Pandora's Box has already been opened... there's no going back now. :(
     
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  30. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    It's a brave new world folks.

    I don't like anything you can't remove the battery from.

    Do some searching on Samsung refrigerators and televisions listening to your conversations. Scary stuff.
     
  31. superpaco

    superpaco Scout

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    This is hilarious, the information is readily available so they WILL collect it, whether they say they are or not, whether it's legal or not. Governments have proven time and time again that they are willing to break any laws they run into. "9/11 was an inside job." (Literally) I really don't mean to be rude, sir. But unfortunately you have in all probably drank the Kool-ade. Sure, they don't really look too closely at me or you but you can bet your sweet ass they are collecting our data where/whenever they find it....
     
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  32. Gary V

    Gary V Tracker

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    Seriously, and it doesn't even need a battery. Putin gave Trump a soccer ball that had a NFC chip in it. Neither one probably realized it was in there at the time since it was done by the manufacturer Adidas. This tech is everywhere.
     
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  33. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Alexa is willing to listen.

    Please talk directly into the microphone so we may better target ads relevant to your psychographic.

    It gets creepy when you have a conversation with your wife, before searching for anything, and internet ads follow along.
     
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  34. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    I get advertisements on my PC which are NOT from search history, but from conversation between my wife and I. Usually within 24-48 hrs of referencing a product we need. Its creepy! They are using an algorithm to pick out words from audio and then send advertising based on them. From what I've read this could be Google and /or Facebook. May their stock hit rock bottom when the masses finally realize it...I texted my son one day that he should consider CDL school. He texted back, that within ONE minute after receiving my text he was flooded with CDL school ads...
     
  35. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have friends who ask that you put cellphones and other listening devices in an unplugged microwave near the door.
     
  36. caoutdoorsman

    caoutdoorsman Scout

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    The financial incentive provided by the internet advertising model has turned user-data into a lucrative commodity that corporations use to make money; they're incentivized to collect your data so they can keep showing you targeted ads.
    This incentive is so strong that websites and apps are now designed to retain your attention as long as possible in order to maximize "time on site", which in turn leads to more advertisement exposure, and more revenue for adfirms.

    If you'd like to learn more about the extent of this model's influence, the following discussion is a great introduction:

    This is the reason that using the internet now no longer feels like a free-form, exploratory experience like it did 10-15 years ago. Because of the financial incentive, once one company adopts the internet-ad model, all of its competitor companies must adopt a similar strategy in order to remain financially competitive.
    I miss the "good ole' days" when the internet didn't bombard you with useless recommended content and ads, but this is where the money led to so its what we're stuck with.

    If you want to protect yourself from intrusive ads, download Palemoon as your browser and get ad-block and IP scrambling add-ons. Its not perfect by any means, but is a lot better than IE or Chrome with respect to advertising. It makes using YouTube a lot more enjoyable, and has some nice color-theme options.
    https://www.palemoon.org/
    https://addons.palemoon.org/extensions/
    https://addons.palemoon.org/addon/decentraleyes/
    https://addons.palemoon.org/addon/adblock-latitude/

    Windows 10 includes a keylogger set to "on" by default, so you should probably disable that as well if you want to minimize the impact of targeted ads.

    Here's another interesting interview with respect to privacy rights in the digital age:
     
  37. xrayit

    xrayit Guide

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    I use one of these when I travel, approximately 10 inches x 10 inches has plenty of room for two IPhones, wallet and passport.

    Mission Darkness Non-Window Faraday Bag for Phones
     
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  38. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    Old saying,
    If it's free "YOU" are the product!
     
  39. doulos

    doulos Guide

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    We should all join some group that advocates getting out in to nature and away from technology! :D
     
  40. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    A company would make a fortune if they simply made a clean, comm mobile device we could make private calls and texts from with none of these worries.
     
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  41. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    I know a Place like that!
     
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  42. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    They already do.
    No batteries, no microphones, works in any language. It even works in outer space. It's a calclator too!
    [​IMG]

    And in a pinch. It will help you, get a fire going.

    An amazing tool if you think about all it can do, And no spying.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  43. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    It’s already been mentioned, but I want to put in another good word for DuckDuckGo as a search engine. You can set it as your default bowser search engine in settings in Apple’s Safari and probably most others browsers as well. It doesn’t track you or follow you and does a good job searching. I especially like the bang feature, which allows you to search popular websites without actually going to them. For instance, if you wanted to search eBay for powder horns you could just type !ebay powder horns in your browser window. No need to actually go to eBay. Anyway, I’ve been using it for a while and really like it.

    More about the bang feature here:
    https://duckduckgo.com/bang

    JohnP
     
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  44. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Indigenous Skills Junkie Supporter

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    It's settled! We all convert to Amishism :dblthumb:
     
  45. Angus McGunnigl

    Angus McGunnigl Guide

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    Nope. I think hey are horrid.
    My wife and I left a party earlier than planned recently once we realized the homeowner had thier Alexa device running thier life. It was not out in the open at all. We were polite and made our leave gracefully.
     
  46. bosque bob

    bosque bob Scout

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    Good to see this topic and the comments. Thanks.

    Any new technology will likely include unintended consequences and one role of advertising is to move folk's attention beyond them. It doesn't matter if its corsets, automobiles or the interweb.

    Unfortunately these days much that we have come to accept as normal would have been considered clearly absurd not all that long ago. How and why that changed is another story altogether. I consider myself fortunate to be able to spend time playing outside in areas where cell coverage is non existent; I'll take a good knife over a smart phone any day.

    Like many other things it is what it is because we are as we are.
     
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  47. Gary V

    Gary V Tracker

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    So basically "stupid is as stupid does". That probably explains a lot today.
     
  48. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    ^^^Right there with ya my friend^^^
     
  49. stillman

    stillman Guide Bushclass I

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    There are companies working to connect identifiable user information to mobile phone numbers so retailers know when you are in their store. Marketing types are over the moon about this technology. It already works in some cases, where an in-store associate could be alerted to your presence and what you have been shopping for online. A similar technology exists where a point of sale display will get the information from your phone and will have your history to sell things to you. The technology is in place, retailers are waiting for public acceptance to start rolling it out.
     
  50. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

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    When I went to summer camp in the early 90s as a middle-schooler, my dad got me a seabag to carry my stuff in, big black bold numbers on the bottom, J. Julian XXX-XX-XXXX is what he wrote... yep, SSN. 'Cuz that's what he was used to when in the Marines 20 years earlier. Would never do that sort of thing today. But that was pre-internet years.

    They make actual plastic sliding covers for those webcams, but in a pinch, black electrical tape works just as well.

    Your ISP is changing your IP address every so often, unless you pay extra for a static address.. so there is only so much they can get from that as far as location. But they can close enough to suggest restaurants and other businesses.

    Certainly too much data being shared for my liking.. I wonder how many of us just click OK/Agree, or sign on the line for so many things without ever reading what we are actually agreeing to.
     

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