Smartphones are broadcasting everything you do for the public record. Does it matter?
Sensor Data- Accelerometers, Magnetometers, Gyroscopes, Microphones and Cameras
Even if all your privacy settings are locked down, these sensors are sending out information that creates unique fingerprints that can be tied directly to you with 96% accuracy, according to MIT professor Romit Roy Choudhury’s paper on accelerometers and privacy. He could also infer passwords based on the taps made on the phone. He says that gyroscopes, magnetometers, can create digital fingerprints and locations in a similar way. A collection of these ‘fingerprints’ allow a device to be tracked anywhere for long periods of time.
Hungry Apps and Hackers
All those fun little games that keep your kids busy on your phone, or even you diverted in those moments you are stuck in a line might have an agenda. Every App you put on your phone has access to all the information your phone is constantly surveying. Apps are being programmed to continuously upload the information to their private servers where data technicians can glean information about its users. Even if your location tracking is turned off, there are ways around it for hackers and Apps. It seems everyone wants to know what you are doing. Whether it is for something as innocuous as tailoring advertising to a specific market or a little more serious like credit bureaus and insurance companies learning more about you to determine their risk factors in doing business with you. In an Edward Snowden article, he claims the government and Apple have been working together on spy apps so the iPhone collects data for the PRISM data collection program. Apple denies this vehemently.
Fake Cell Towers “Stingrays”
Several news articles have let us know that they exist, but not much more. Although not allowed to talk to the press about it, law enforcement agencies have been given access to “Stingrays” that were paid for by Homeland Security. Stingrays act like cell phone towers and connect to local cell phones to collect data. They can use that connection to see what your camera and microphone are seeing and hearing. They can see your location and the location of other cell phone carriers around you. Several sting operations go down everyday based on information law enforcement is gathering on people of interest. The power that they wield is so enticing that the cartels have managed to get their hands on this technology for their own purposes. And just guessing here, but the technology is old enough that the highest bidder might be able to get their hands on these.
Cell Phone Carriers
Verizon has openly admitted it is selling information it is gleaning from its users. They have not told us what information they have access to, but it could very well be all of the above. Is it any wonder that Google is laying fiber optic lines and renting out cell tower space to become a carrier itself.
“It doesn’t Matter, I don’t have anything to hide!”
Do you buy car, renter, or homeowner insurance?
Your phone has sensors that broadcast how fast you drive on roads where speed limits are attached to GPS locations. Your gyroscope is measuring how fast you weave in and out of traffic or take turns. How much information does one need to identify an aggressive driver? How about if you spend an inordinate amount of time where alcohol is served, does that make you more of a risk to insure? Do you spend time around people that are tagged as risk takers or irresponsible?
Do you have Health Insurance?
Where do you go during the day? If you are spending lots of time at the local bar or other questionable establishments instead of the Gym, could it be inferred how responsible a person you are? How often to you stop at convenience stores for snacks? How about a hamburger joint every other day? Michelle Obama has made her mark on student lunches, how long before a politician is denying you certain health benefits if you persists in what they say is unhealthy behavior? They have already decided that people over 70 are to receive “comfort care” and not fix the problem.
Do you have a job?
If you had a job where you had to carry a medical card to prove you are healthy, how long would it take for a health insurance provider to share their information with your employer?
Does your credit score affect your life?
Risky behavior or unfashionable behavior in the current political climate that is being gleaned from raw data collected from your smart phone will absolutely affect your credit score. If Facebook friends can affect your credit score how much more weight will your personal digital fingerprint weigh on your credit score.
How do I protect myself?
We all have skin in the game. The best thing you can do is not carry a phone. The second best thing you can do according to Edward Snowden is to carry an older flip phone, not a smartphone. The only thing an old flip phone can do is listen and track location and those are easily taken care of by removing the battery of the phone.
If you love your smartphone and all it can do, you have to treat it like the double-edged sword that it is. Be aware of your phone. Are you talking about sensitive information or don’t want to be tracked? Disable the phone. How? Turning your phone off is not an option; the battery is always connected and therefore supplying power to all the sensors. It may appear off, but if hacked it can still be working against you. How do you know you are not hacked? Has your phone been out in public near other phones or Bluetooth signals or wifi transmitters? You don’t know. The only thing available is low-tech options to be completely sure. You can physically destroy the phone or place it inside a faraday cage that the phone cannot transmit signals through.
FawkesBox™ was created just for this purpose. It is a faraday cage / shield that cuts smart phone transmissions. You cannot send or receive cellular, Bluetooth or wifi signals through this box. It fits the iPhone 6 and smartphones and cases up to 3” x 6” x .625”. It hides smart phone signals on the grid protecting the smart phone from black hats and white hats. Calls go to voicemail when the phone is in the FawkesBox™. In today’s hyper vigilant world, smart phone users need to completely change how they use their phones if they are interested in privacy and keeping off the public record. By blacking out information when the smart phone is not in use, dramatic amounts of information can be protected. FawkesBox™ won’t protect you as you talk or text, but it will remind you to be careful when you do. FawkesBox™ is a physically hard durable protective phone case that creates a wireless signal barrier between the smartphone and the grid. Fawkes Box is a low tech solution to today’s high tech problems. Be smart like a Fox and hide your tracks with a FawkesBox™. Holds most smart phones and their cases. For more information goto www.fawkesbox.com and watch out for smartphone hacking and spying articles tweeting @fawkesbox.