Tech Friday with Dave Hatter- January 31st 2020 - SPONSORED BY INTRUST IT


  • Ring doorbell app shares your information with many 3rd parties:
    • The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) discovered that the Ring doorbell app for Android is loaded with 3rd-party trackers
    • These trackers send out personally identifiable information (PII) several analytics and marketing companies were receiving the data
    • The information includes names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data
    • As we have seen before, even small amounts of information can be combined to create a fingerprint used to track what user is doing in the digital world
    • As is often the case, there is no meaningful user notification or consent
    • Ring has already been criticized for building a massive surveillance network that provide law enforcement with unprecedented access into the private lives of citizens
    • EFF wrote "not only does Ring mismanage consumer data, but it also intentionally hands over that data to trackers and data miners."
    • According to EFF, Ring for Android version 3.21.1 sent data tobranch.io,mixpanel.com,appsflyer.comandfacebook.com
    • Facebook, is notified when the app is opened and upon device actions such as app deactivation after screen lock due to inactivity
    • Yet another "smart" device is proven to be dumb
    • When Mikko Hyppönen said "What’s happening right now, around us, I guess would be characterised as IT asbestos" in regards to IoT, he was right
  • Facebook's "Clear History" feature is now available:
    • Facebook recently made it's "Off Facebook Activity" feature available to all users
    • "Off-Facebook Activity marks a new level of transparency and control. We've been working on this for a while because we had to rebuild some of our systems to make this possible," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg
    • This feature allows you to view websites and apps that have been sending your activity from their sites to Facebook
    • This is Facebook's first attempt to allows users to delete information that Facebook collected using tracking cookies and scripts on other websites and apps
    • In theory, they collect this information to server you highly targeted ad
    • But it also means that they are building a very detailed and very valuable dossier of you and your internet travels
    • If you check for yourself, you might be surprised to see how many sites are collecting data about you and sharing it with Facebook
    • I only had three because I've been using Firefox with Privacy Badger to block this sort of tracking form some time
    • You can block the collection of this data by Facebook. Note that this does nothing to stop the 3rd-party from capturing your data
    • You can block one or more websites. Note that Facebook may still collect the data, but it will not be associated with your Facebook ID
    • The "Clear history" option removes the association from all sites
    • The "turn off future activity" option blocks Facebook from connecting any 3rd-party information to your account
    • If disable future activity, you won't be able to log into third-party websites or apps using Facebook
    • Using this feature will not necessarily reduce the number of ads you see, buy they will not be as targeted to you
    • I encourage disconnect all sites and block all future activity today!
  • NY Times writer decides that his apps are stalking him:
    • "I discovered that we’re building a digital surveillance state much like the one in China" - Farhad Manjoo
    • Manjoo participated in the Times Opinion’s Privacy Project
    • His devices were monitored to determine the kind of data that was being collected
    • He warns about the very detailed insights tech companies are getting about us from our gadgets
    • Manjoo says "Indeed, because of a dearth of laws protecting our privacy — and almost no high-profile political discussion about the stakes at hand — Americans are sleepwalking into a future nearly as frightening as the one the Chinese are constructing"
    • "Like a lot of people, I’ve long justified my apathy about privacy through innocence: I’m a stand-up guy — what do I have to hide?" Manjoo
    • I encourage you to read the article:https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/opinion/phone-data-privacy.html