Category Archives: Privacy

Bose headphones spy on listeners – lawsuit

After paying $350 for his QuietComfort 35 headphones, Zak said he took Bose’s suggestion to “get the most out of your headphones” by downloading its app, and providing his name, email address and headphone serial number in the process.But the Illinois resident said he was surprised to learn that Bose sent “all available media information” from his smartphone to third parties such as, whose website promises to collect customer data and “send it anywhere.”Audio choices offer “an incredible amount of insight” into customers’ personalities, behavior, politics and religious views, citing as an example that a person who listens to Muslim prayers might “very likely” be a Muslim, the complaint said.

via Bose headphones spy on listeners – lawsuit

Workplace Surveillance Is The New Office ‘Perk’

Whether through “voluntary” corporate wellness programs, smart badges that record voices and GPS locations, or surveillance apps in their mobile phones and personal computers, Americans are offering up more and more personal data at work. Most of them don’t have much idea of where that data goes, or how it will be used — and there aren’t that many limits on what employers can find out about their employees, or what they can do with the data. The more people who opt in now, the harder it will be to opt out in the future.

And it’s about to get much worse.

via Workplace Surveillance Is The New Office ‘Perk’ – Vocativ

Four Flavors of Automated License Plate Reader Technology

Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) may be the most common mass surveillance technology in use by local law enforcement around the country—but they’re not always used in the same way.

via The Four Flavors of Automated License Plate Reader Technology | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Jade Helm and the ‘Human Domain’ – Liberty Unyielding

“Almost nothing has been said in public about the IT element in human domain operations, as it relates to Jade Helm.  But if you investigate human domain theory, IT figures hugely in it.  Much of operationalizing the human domain concept is about leveraging – wait for it – “Big Data”: that universe of data now floating around on people and events.

An example that would probably apply to an exercise like Jade Helm is monitoring the routine communications of the local population, whether by scooping in data from social media or by some means of watching patterns in communications metadata (e.g., big spikes in cell-phone calls just before major events, or just after something unique has been detected by the locals).  These are simplified examples, meant to suggest the categories of phenomena that human domain intelligence would be looking for.”

Obama and the intel community’s ‘Leaks against Trump’ campaign – Liberty Unyielding

“And this next point can’t be overemphasized: the intel cycle paradigm shifted after 9/11 from priority- and event-driven collection to event-driven data retrieval, with collection as an ongoing, environmental condition.  (For a fairly deep dive into this, see my 2015 commentary on the big-data focus of the Jade Helm exercise.)”

Neighbors Push Back After Hurst Police Hover Drone Over Back Yard Without Warning | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

“The Texas Privacy Act restricts making recordings on private property but Hurst police told NBC 5 they were not recording in this case.”

Corporations Use End User License Agreements to Create a Parallel Legal System – Motherboard

“Trying to think about all the contracts I’ve half-wittingly signed away to tech companies is mind boggling. A handful with Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix; End User License Agreements for every piece of software I’ve downloaded, every gadget I’ve bought, every subscription service or app I use. Many of them are changed with little or no notice, most of them are hundreds of pages long.”

Ted Cruz’s Law Paper From 1996 Is the Best Argument Against Letting Tech Companies Run Rampant – Motherboard

“And we are unwittingly entering into so many contracts that it’s simply not worth it to read them all. Cruz notes that, even in 1996, many thermometers were coming with pages-long user agreements.

“Not only must one determine what the provisions mean, but one must also assess their impact on a case-by-case basis,” Cruz wrote. “For many products, any cost whatsoever may be enough to induce consumers not to become informed.”

2014 NYU study found that roughly a tenth of one percent of consumers even look at licensing agreements at all, and most read them for only a few seconds. “

Facial Recognition Tech Could Ensnare Millions Of Innocent Americans For Crimes They Didn’t Commit

“Americans should not be forced to submit to criminal face recognition searches merely because they want to drive a car. They shouldn’t have to worry their data will be misused by unethical government officials with unchecked access to face recognition databases. And they shouldn’t have to fear that their every move will be tracked if face recognition is linked to the networks of surveillance cameras that blanket many cities.”

Palantir Rejects Investor’s Request for Records

Founded in 2004 by Thiel and other tech businessmen, Palantir is among Silicon Valley’s most highly valued companies. In addition to KT4 Partners, an early investor was the venture-capital arm of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Palantir’s customers include government spy agencies around the world. It was most recently valued at $20 billion by investors, and it’s well-positioned to cash in on more government work, with Thiel being a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.
via Palantir Officials Reject Investor’s Request for Records – Bloomberg