Your Phone is Not Your Friend

Your Phone is Not Your Friend

Cell phones are 24/7 GPS surveillance devices, constantly leaking data at all times. At any given time, your phone is broadcasting your location. It’s also usually broadcasting a bunch of other information such as WiFi connection information and usage data. Recently, Privacy International found that some devices and apps even transmit personally identifying information such as name, date of birth, and gender without using any type of encryption or security measures. Even within the device itself, there’s a messy web of apps requesting information that they don’t really need and transferring that information to their own creators, leaking even more information about people who didn’t consent to having their information shared to people who don’t need it. ( Source, just one of many.)

Part of this is down to poor design decisions in the past on the part of the makers of the hardware and OS in our phones. Part of this is down to shortcuts taken by app developers that have unintended consequences. But it seems that a very large part is now down to the fact that surveillance and tracking are seen as ‘how things have always been done’, that taking and monetising our data is a god-given right. Those attitudes need to change. Sadly, at the moment, it’s down to us to police this and force that change to happen.

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