Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mobile data encryption has been broken, who has our data now?

Reading this article from the BBC - it appears everything we do on our mobiles can be 'seen' by the powers that be.
But to be fair I think this tiny amount of data is the least of our worries.

No one needs to decrypt anything to 'know' you, lets take Google for instance or 'Big Cousin G'.

If you viewing this site from your desktop/laptop, you are 'known' to Google and every click/page view is logged, rough location etc, bring on the cookies!

If you are using chrome to view this page, they know when you last went to the toilet or made a coffee or at least left your desk based on usage stats and your most searched terms.

If you have a Gmail account they probably if you are cheating on your partner because you have a meeting booked on your calendar in London, but have just booked a swish hotel (paid for using Google cart) in Leeds for the same day.

If you are using an Android mobile device to view this page, they also know where you are on the planet to within 20m (even with your GPS/location services turned off) so you cant hide.
Any pictures you take/upload are probably geo-location tagged and scanned using facial recognition software to see who you are really hanging out with. - Google+ Introduces Automatic Face Recognition To Photo Tagging (But It’s Completely Opt-In) | TechCrunch

They can also scan photos to work out where you are based on the background scenery... IARPA's "Finder" Is Like Facial Recognition For Backgrounds | Popular Photography

Using a Chromebook, well you have basically given them the keys to the front door.

Remember Google tell you they are going to do this in the T&C's you all read right to the bottom when you sign up for a new google service. In short it all means "We (Google) will look after every byte of digital data you create every time you login to a Google service or use a website that uses any of our services and we reserve the right to search this data for stuff we think will help us deliver our services back to you and make some cash"
Everything we all do is tracked, have you ever tried to use the internet with cookies turned off?

Based on the above data streams,  Google can work out who you are, your age, sex, marital status, your favourite food/drink/music/hobbies and even what ads to fire your way!
They will be able to profile you based on the data you give them, this is the sort of data that not so many years ago would have been impossible for any one company to have access to.

I honestly think that the data that is encrypted for us across mobile networks is nothing compared to the data we give away freely to the likes of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, IBM, Antivirus providers, Facebook, Credit card companies, our Banks, Supermarkets and anyone else we have a digital relationship with.
All the while naively thinking that no one will ever see/use it.

If you want to be a little more scared about what they have on you - The Evil Side of Google? Exploring Google's User Data Collection - Moz

Don't get me started on Facebook, if Google and Facebook ever start a clandestine relationship or got hacked we might as well run around the streets naked wearing a sign 'The end is nigh' as everyone would have dirt on everyone... on a happier note there is only 2 days until the weekend... but Google knew that already.

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