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Big Data and its role in the mayhem


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#21 indy

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 08:40 PM

Bold mine.

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Consumers have bought more than 11 million internet-connected Vizio televisions since 2010. But according to a complaint filed by the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General, consumers didn’t know that while they were watching their TVs, Vizio was watching them. The lawsuit challenges the company’s tracking practices and offers insights into how established consumer protection principles apply to smart technology.
Starting in 2014, Vizio made TVs that automatically tracked what consumers were watching and transmitted that data back to its servers. Vizio even retrofitted older models by installing its tracking software remotely. All of this, the FTC and AG allege, was done without clearly telling consumers or getting their consent.

What did Vizio know about what was going on in the privacy of consumers’ homes? On a second-by-second basis, Vizio collected a selection of pixels on the screen that it matched to a database of TV, movie, and commercial content. What’s more, Vizio identified viewing data from cable or broadband service providers, set-top boxes, streaming devices, DVD players, and over-the-air broadcasts. Add it all up and Vizio captured as many as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs.

Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. According to the complaint, Vizio got personal. The company provided consumers’ IP addresses to data aggregators, who then matched the address with an individual consumer or household. Vizio’s contracts with third parties prohibited the re-identification of consumers and households by name, but allowed a host of other personal details – for example, sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership. And Vizio permitted these companies to track and target its consumers across devices.

https://www.ftc.gov/...ehind-tv-screen

#22 Traveler

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 10:57 AM

Holy Crap. And no mention on any press outlets yet? Here is a good comment on the background, and what other mfrs were doing.

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So I have a bit of intimate knowledge of this.
Not sure what I can answer but for years my company worked on an Automatic Content Recognition project using tools from a team called Cognitive Networks who were bought by Vizio and makes up the tech that did this. If I understand correctly the founder of Vizio kept this tech for himself in the sale of Vizio.
When developing this we would work directly with Cognitive checking sync'd apps. We knew for a long time that they could see our content in their office while we tested.
Note LG got caught on this about 2-3 years ago and made ACR apps opt-in which pretty much killed it for LG.
AFAIK Samsung never did the exact same thing a bunch of providers saw the writing on the wall and dumped this sort of technology a few years back. It had some really cool applications for interactive sync to broadcast apps but the privacy concerns killed it for a lot for a lot of manufacturers.
Many of the comments are worth reading.

Here is a good summary of what FB collects on you. Collects stuff on you even if you are not on it directly. Ugly.

And check this out!

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Privacy advocates are warning federal authorities of a new threat that uses inaudible, high-frequency sounds to surreptitiously track a person's online behavior across a range of devices, including phones, TVs, tablets, and computers.[indent]
The ultrasonic pitches are embedded into TV commercials or are played when a user encounters an ad displayed in a computer browser. While the sound can't be heard by the human ear, nearby tablets and smartphones can detect it. When they do, browser cookies can now pair a single user to multiple devices and keep track of what TV commercials the person sees, how long the person watches the ads, and whether the person acts on the ads by doing a Web search or buying a product.[/indent]
Related: a Chrome extension that broadcasts URLs over audio.

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#23 Traveler

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:55 AM

Another take on Cambridge Analytica. It's not all big brother. Yet.

LFC, a favor to ask. Can you repost that Mercer article here? It all fits.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#24 LFC

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:53 AM

View PostTraveler, on 06 March 2017 - 08:55 AM, said:

Another take on Cambridge Analytica. It's not all big brother. Yet.

LFC, a favor to ask. Can you repost that Mercer article here? It all fits.

Here ya go.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#25 indy

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:19 AM

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Bose Corp spies on its wireless headphone customers by using an app that tracks the music, podcasts and other audio they listen to, and violates their privacy rights by selling the information without permission, a lawsuit charged.

http://www.reuters.c...t-idUSKBN17L2BT

#26 Traveler

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:56 AM

Unbelievable. Nothing discussed in the terms of use. But altogether too believable.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#27 LFC

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:54 PM

The quote on free software (probably somewhere on TRS) is that "if you're not the consumer, you're the product." That's fine if you want to make that choice but this trolling of data when you actually purchase products is out of hand ... and NOT well disclosed. Not that Republicans would do anything about it. They obviously view people as nothing more than sheep to be fleeced.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#28 Traveler

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:35 AM

Been a while, and maybe other threads better, but this epic takedown of Google deserves attention.

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In the summer of 2018, after months of public and legislator outcry over election interference, you might think it would be difficult for a Russian troll farm to purchase — with Russian currency, from a Russian ZIP code — racially and politically divisive ads through Google. And you might reasonably assume that if such a troll farm were able to do this, Google — which has said "no amount of interference that is acceptable" — would prevent it from successfully targeting those ads toward thousands of Americans on major news sites and YouTube channels.
But you’d be wrong.

Researchers from the advocacy group the Campaign for Accountability — which has frequently targeted Google with its “transparency project” investigations and has received funding from Google competitor Oracle — posed as Kremlin-linked trolls and successfully purchased divisive online ads using Google’s ad platform and targeted them toward Americans. In an attempt to trigger Google’s safeguards against such efforts, the researchers purchased the advertisements using the name and identifying details of the Internet Research Agency — a Kremlin-linked troll farm that’s been the subject of numerous congressional hearings. The advertisements appeared on the YouTube channels and websites of media brands like CNN, CBS This Morning, HuffPost, and the Daily Beast.

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#29 LFC

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 12:31 PM

By now we're all familiar with the harvesting of data by private companies, often without our knowledge, but it turns out that state DMVs have been getting in on the act for fun and profit as well. The last sentence I quoted tells you just what they're willing to sell. The rest of the piece gives you an idea of how prevalent release of people's data really is.

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Departments of Motor Vehicles in states around the country are taking drivers' personal information and selling it to thousands of businesses, including private investigators who spy on people for a profit, Motherboard has learned. DMVs sell the data for an array of approved purposes, such as to insurance or tow companies, but some of them have sold to more nefarious businesses as well. Multiple states have made tens of millions of dollars a year selling data.

Motherboard has obtained hundreds of pages of documents from DMVs through public records requests that lay out the practice. Members of the public may not be aware that when they provide their name, address, and in some cases other personal information to the DMV for the purposes of getting a driver's license or registering a vehicle, the DMV often then turns around and offers that information for sale.

Many of the private investigators that DMVs have sold data to explicitly advertise that they will surveil spouses to see if they're cheating.

"You need to learn what they’ve been doing, when they’ve been doing it, who they’ve been doing it with and how long it has been going on. You need to see proof with your own eyes," reads the website of Integrity Investigations, one private investigator firm that buys data from DMVs.

"Under this MOU [memorandum of understanding], the Requesting Party will be provided, via remote electronic means, information pertaining to driver licenses and vehicles, including personal information authorized to be released," one agreement between a DMV and its clients reads.

Multiple DMVs stressed to Motherboard that they do not sell the photographs from citizens' driver licenses or social security numbers.

Some of the data access is done in bulk, while other arrangements allow a company to lookup specific individuals, according to the documents. Contracts can roll for months at a time, and records can cost as little as $0.01 each, the documents add.

“The selling of personally identifying information to third parties is broadly a privacy issue for all and specifically a safety issue for survivors of abuse, including domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking," Erica Olsen, director of Safety Net at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, told Motherboard in an email. "For survivors, their safety may depend on their ability to keep this type of information private."

The sale of this data to licensed private investigators is perfectly legal, due to the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), a law written in the '90s before privacy became the cultural focus that it is today, but which critics believe should be changed. The process of becoming a licensed private investigator varies from state to state, and can be strict, according to multiple sources close to the industry. Some states, however, allow licensing to be granted on a local level or investigators to operate without a license.

The DPPA was created in 1994 after a private investigator, hired by a stalker, obtained the address of actress Rebecca Schaeffer from a DMV. The stalker went on to murder Schaeffer. The purpose of the law was to restrict access to DMV data, but it included a wide range of exemptions, including for the sale to private investigators.

"The DPPA is one of several federal laws that should now be updated," Marc Rotenberg, president and executive director of privacy activism group EPIC, wrote in an email. "I would certainly reduce the number of loopholes," he added, referring to how the law might be changed.

The data sold varies from state to state, but it typically includes a citizen's name and address. In others, it can also include their nine-digit ZIP code, date of birth, phone number, and email address.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#30 LFC

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 01:00 PM

Your live cellphone location data can be purchased for just a few hundred bucks.

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Nervously, I gave a bounty hunter a phone number. He had offered to geolocate a phone for me, using a shady, overlooked service intended not for the cops, but for private individuals and businesses. Armed with just the number and a few hundred dollars, he said he could find the current location of most phones in the United States.

The bounty hunter sent the number to his own contact, who would track the phone. The contact responded with a screenshot of Google Maps, containing a blue circle indicating the phone’s current location, approximate to a few hundred metres.

Queens, New York. More specifically, the screenshot showed a location in a particular neighborhood—just a couple of blocks from where the target was. The hunter had found the phone (the target gave their consent to Motherboard to be tracked via their T-Mobile phone.)

The bounty hunter did this all without deploying a hacking tool or having any previous knowledge of the phone’s whereabouts. Instead, the tracking tool relies on real-time location data sold to bounty hunters that ultimately originated from the telcos themselves, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, a Motherboard investigation has found. These surveillance capabilities are sometimes sold through word-of-mouth networks.

Whereas it’s common knowledge that law enforcement agencies can track phones with a warrant to service providers, IMSI catchers, or until recently via other companies that sell location data such as one called Securus, at least one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries, ranging from car salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, according to sources familiar with the company’s products and company documents obtained by Motherboard. Compounding that already highly questionable business practice, this spying capability is also being resold to others on the black market who are not licensed by the company to use it, including me, seemingly without Microbilt’s knowledge.

Motherboard’s investigation shows just how exposed mobile networks and the data they generate are, leaving them open to surveillance by ordinary citizens, stalkers, and criminals, and comes as media and policy makers are paying more attention than ever to how location and other sensitive data is collected and sold. The investigation also shows that a wide variety of companies can access cell phone location data, and that the information trickles down from cell phone providers to a wide array of smaller players, who don’t necessarily have the correct safeguards in place to protect that data.

“People are reselling to the wrong people,” the bail industry source who flagged the company to Motherboard said. Motherboard granted the source and others in this story anonymity to talk more candidly about a controversial surveillance capability.


Actually if you go to one of the providers it can be ridiculously cheap to find or even track a phone.

Quote

Microbilt buys access to location data from an aggregator called Zumigo and then sells it to a dizzying number of sectors, including landlords to scope out potential renters; motor vehicle salesmen, and others who are conducting credit checks. Armed with just a phone number, Microbilt’s “Mobile Device Verify” product can return a target’s full name and address, geolocate a phone in an individual instance, or operate as a continuous tracking service.

“You can set up monitoring with control over the weeks, days and even hours that location on a device is checked as well as the start and end dates of monitoring,” a company brochure Motherboard found online reads.

Posing as a potential customer, Motherboard explicitly asked a Microbilt customer support staffer whether the company offered phone geolocation for bail bondsmen. Shortly after, another staffer emailed with a price list—locating a phone can cost as little as $4.95 each if searching for a low number of devices. That price gets even cheaper as the customer buys the capability to track more phones. Getting real-time updates on a phone’s location can cost around $12.95.

“Dirt cheap when you think about the data you can get,” the source familiar with the industry added.


Basically people are illegally selling legally obtained data on the black market for huge markups. Same old, same old. If you go to the link and keep scrolling there are more and more articles about the sale of your data.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#31 Traveler

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 10:20 AM

Unfuckingbelievable.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#32 HockeyDon

    Mind blown...

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:42 AM

View PostTraveler, on 11 September 2019 - 10:20 AM, said:

Unfuckingbelievable.

Is it really?

Or am I the victim of Poe's Law again?
Well, fuck.

How can I be expected to distinguish BS from reality when so much of my reality is utter BS?!

"There seems to be a lot of people dying of ignorance while living in the information age." my sister-in-law.

#33 Traveler

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:27 AM

No irony. I cannot fathom that is legal. Show how much I read the fine print.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#34 golden_valley

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:37 AM

View PostTraveler, on 12 September 2019 - 10:27 AM, said:

Show how much I read the fine print.

You're right; it's probably buried in there somewhere. This is a situation where consumers need to be protected. It's not like we can cross out the offending provision in the fine print or negotiate to have it removed. It's all or nothing. The vendor has the upper hand particularly when there is really no alternative vendor that lacks that provision in its fine print.

#35 Traveler

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 11:28 AM

Like the DMV. There is no alternative, period. That is why I said unfuckingbelievable. An arm of the state coercing you to give it information for it to sell.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#36 D. C. Sessions

    I don't have to pretend to be an adult any more

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 12:15 PM

Also bear in mind that the info the DMV collects includes essentially everything necessary for identity theft.

I'm currently tracking down the reason why my annual credit summary (net score is in the "doesn't change anything" range) from USAA shows that the agencies all hold "amount owed on revolving accounts is too high" against me.

Which is curious, since I don't have any revolving accounts except for the USAA CC which gets paid to zero every month.

Hmmm ...
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#37 Traveler

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 05:15 PM

Bizarre. And troubling. Could your ID be stolen?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#38 AnBr

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:01 PM

This is something that Democrats and even Republicans of old would be all over. Modern current Republicans on the other hand condone, even facilitate such nonsense.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#39 D. C. Sessions

    I don't have to pretend to be an adult any more

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:05 PM

View PostTraveler, on 12 September 2019 - 05:15 PM, said:

Bizarre. And troubling. Could your ID be stolen?

My first thought was that the ex was taking advantage of someone not updating their records, but it looks like USAA's automatic overdraft buffer is getting counted as a revolving credit with a very low limit.

I think it's stupid but can live with it.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO





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