Author Topic: Chinese location detection software  (Read 2727 times)

Lyle Brotherton

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Chinese location detection software
« on: June 07, 2014, 09:24:31 AM »
We have spoken many times before on this forum about personal privacy and data protection. This week I was introduced to a piece of Chinese software, available to the public and easily purchased on the net, which quite took me aback in just how easily my movements over the last three months could identified from my smartphone.

The integration of smartphone user location applications, including GNSS, with messenger apps via Wi-Fi, 3G & 4G is growing at an exponential rate. Many of these applications allow users to share diverse content and information, including photographs, videos, voice messages, location, URL links as well as contact details, and they are no longer just 121 conversations, nearly all these apps include group conversations.

Messenger apps include: Whatsapp, Kik messenger, Viber, Skype, Line, KakaoTalk - some have nearly a 100% uptake in national populations, by example KakaoTalk is used by 93% of smartphone owners in South Korea.

Add to this list social networks, the big ones being: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat. Plus applications for voice and video calls: Skype, Viber and Tango.

There are also geo-aware services that store current locations, and that store geo-tagging information: Foursquare and Facebook and lastly media sharing applications: Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram.

The software developers of many of these applications claim end-to-end encryption, but, when you look inside the database it is not encrypted and historical location information is remarkably easy to find.

However, I use non-of-the-above.

My location information came from my Google account, primarily used for email and as my search engine. The level of detail was remarkable, identifying at times not only which building I had been in, time & date stamped, even which side of the building.

Yet the really clever (spooky) component of this Chinese software was the way it sued this data was to establish links between users in several devices correlated with location, connecting overall statistics about users’ activity.

Lesson: the only way to truly retain your privacy is by turning off your mobile phone ;)
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

krenaud

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Re: Chinese location detection software
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2014, 02:22:48 PM »
Use Duck duck go for search and turn off
Location information in the phone for all non-GPS apps. Also disable
Google location tracking.

http://lifehacker.com/psa-your-phone-logs-everywhere-you-go-heres-how-to-t-1486085759

Pete McK

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Re: Chinese location detection software
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 09:28:59 AM »
Thanks Kernaud, I was not aware of DuckDuckGo and using it this weekend really like its simplicity, plus lack of tracking, it reminds me of how Google was in the early days.

There has been a lot in the news recently about a European Directive allowing users of Google to have the data Google hold on them removed, does anyone know how to do this, or even to find out what they hold on you? I searched the net and Google seem to make it really complicated – I wonder why :o

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Chinese location detection software
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 02:23:12 PM »
I had not heard of DDG either Kernaud, thx :) Good question Pete, something I too would be interested in knowing.
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

Callum

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Re: Chinese location detection software
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2014, 10:01:16 AM »
Duck Duck Go duly installed as my new search engine, nice one Krenaud ;)

The bad news Pete is that Google, with the help of their highly paid legal team, are wriggling out of this European judgement and I do not think that other than for some high-profile cases, the general public will be able to remove the personal data Google holds about them.
 
I have been thinking about Germany in the 1930s as the Nazis built their police and surveillance state. Most of us do not realise how careful the Nazis were to push only hard enough to make progress, but not to provoke any pushing back. Then one day, it was too late to try to oppose them. They had built the police state brick by brick, and the trap was shut. Then the war made it easy to brand anyone who opposed the regime a traitor. War offers that cover for totalitarian states.

An even more thorough police state is being built in the UK today, with capabilities the Gestapo could only dream of. Where are we as a nation going I wonder?

captain paranoia

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Re: Chinese location detection software
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2014, 12:41:40 PM »
There are two sides to every argument, and that's certainly true of the 'Google Act'.  Should criminals be able to completely erase their past, for instance?

And, unless the data is expunged from the internet, it will still be there, just a bit harder to find.  It's a good policy to assume that anything released electronically will be present forever, and it will not be possible to ever 'put the genie back in the bottle'.

Whilst I'm wary of Google's growing influence and data gathering, I suspect there's something not so obvious behind the EU ruling; I don't believe it's purely a noble desire to protect individuals.  The reason why Google are fighting it is probably down to the mechanics of actually implementing it, even in the short-term.  I suspect it will take a while to come up with a workable solution to the problem.  And there are other search engines, and I assume they're all bound by the same ruling.  Maybe we'll end up with 'dark internet search engines' that aren't compliant with the ruling, and allow free searches.

krenaud

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Google history revisionism
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2014, 02:56:48 PM »
Personally I believe that the right to be forgotten is not so simple as one would think.

Should politicians and criminals who want to continue with wrong doing be able remove news articles from Google search for instance?

I think that I should be able to ask Google or other companies that I deal with to delete search history, old emails and other account/person related information, but it is frankly stupid to expect Google to remove search results.

How should they handle sports results pages for instance were one participant wishes not to be found via search?

Angle of Repose

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Re: Chinese location detection software
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2014, 07:51:03 PM »
A good movie worth watching on this topic is "Terms and Conditions may apply"
http://tacma.net/tacma.php


It's available on Netflix as of now.
"You can't get there from here"

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Chinese location detection software
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2014, 08:19:02 AM »
It is dangerous to solely rely upon government to protect us.

We are primarily responsible for our own personal safety in most aspects of our lives, from safety exploring the great outdoors to guarding our personal data, and to my mind common sense, a commodity frequently in short supply ;) should prevail.
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

Callum

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Re: Chinese location detection software
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 01:22:09 PM »
An interesting quotation:

“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.” ― Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf.

Hmm, maybe history does repeat itself ::)

Oakleaf

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Re: Chinese location detection software
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 10:24:22 PM »
Picking way with care here as easy to cross gap between shall we call it 'philosophy' or perhaps informal societal study and into politics - which is the last thing we want here!

Whether it's an age thing ( I'll have to check with Lyle as he's waaaaay ahead of me on that front  ;) ) or years of being a professional stalker has seen me acquire the stereotypical grumpy 'owd codger characteristics for which that Scottish profession is world famous.  Possibly its simply that by quirk of fate most of my passions in life seem to be constantly under attack in this 'modern era'. I don't honestly know.

But I do seem to find that 'society' ( for any given value of that  ) seems increasingly to be moving away from commonality ( long gone ), through acceptance ( fading ), into ignorance with a full on rush to approbation/ intolerance for just about everything that I consider to be normal.  I'm talking self reliance ( not Prepping/ Survivalism etc etc ), firearms, knives, gathering your own food, taking responsibility for yourself/ actions, accepting consequences, working to better yourself, duty to others and so on.

By illustration, not politics - did you know that you cannot shoot a wood pigeon for the purpose of eating it.  You may eat it after shooting it for one of two recognised and licensed purposes, but only in those two cases.

When leaders think its  a good idea to route an essential proportion of a nation's energy requirement from a previous 'enemy' ( for a given value of enemy - I always found Soviets great, if potentially injurious,  fun - Spasibo!!  ::) ) and through some of the historically most volatile nations in Europe. A global free market entails critical infrastructure coming under corporate ownership of foreign interests of ambiguous intentions.  You can end up feeling a bit of the proverbial Col Blimp - and I haven't hit 50 yet and have never lived in Berkshire  :)

Its was the previous use of a quotation that prompted this contribution. It is well worth reading William Pitt - I particularly like his view on necessity ( google it ) viz a viz government.  Trouble is I waiver between being comforted that actually very little seems to have changed in the human condition since 1780  ( or Socrates for that matter on 'teenagers' - http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/63219-our-youth-now-love-luxury-they-have-bad-manners-contempt )  and gloom.

Thank goodness for the oasis of common sense and polite discourse that is this forum!