Search


 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Posts

Deafen Your SmartHome Device

By Patrick | February 5, 2019

Did you succumb to the social pressure and get a smart home device like an Amazon Echo or Google Home? However, you’re a smart, privacy conscious consumer who still wants to maintain some sort of control over the constant audio surveillance these devices require? Check out this new project, Project Alias:

Speakers are placed over the mic array of the smart speaker and connected to the Raspberry Pi. The Pi then plays a mix of human speech and noises at a volume too low for us to hear, but loud enough to keep the likes of Alexa deafened.

The Pi has ears of its own in the form of a couple of microphones on an inexpensive daughterboard, and is trained by the user via a simple smartphone app to accept whatever activation phrase is needed. When the Pi “hears” the user’s preferred phrase, it triggers Alexa or Google Home itself and then allows the user’s instructions to make it to the spy cylinder’s ears.

Article link: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/01/project_alias/

Topics: Surveillance | No Comments »

Facebook Continues Surveillance Behavior – Project Atlas

By Patrick | January 31, 2019

More news this week of Facebook continuing its data collection and surveillance practices.

Since 2016, Facebook has been paying users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 per month plus referral fees to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android “Facebook Research” app. Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history page. The program is administered through beta testing services Applause, BetaBound and uTest to cloak Facebook’s involvement, and is referred to in some documentation as “Project Atlas” — a fitting name for Facebook’s effort to map new trends and rivals around the globe.

Facebook admitted to this behavior and Apple has stated Facebook was in direct violation of their Enterprise agreement and policies. While the intrusive app has been pulled from the App Store and is no longer available for iOS, the app will continue to be available on Android. While this app, as all others, requires consent and permission from the user, we’ve constantly seen where privacy is quickly traded for money and convenience.

Full TechCrunch article here:
Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them

Topics: Facebook, Surveillance | No Comments »

The Rebirth

By Patrick | January 24, 2019

Today is January 24th, 2019. It’s been almost a decade since I last posted anything, much less updated my most popular post from 2007: Anonymous Credit/Debit Cards.

Since the writing of my original posts, quite a bit has changed in the world. Data breaches occur seemingly everyday, concern over use of digital data by third parties, doxxing of innocent individuals that become targets of main stream media outrage induced mobs. As I read back through my previous posts about FaceBook, Biometrics, data breaches, etc., I experience a number of emotions. I cringe at some of my thoughts and writing skills, their silliness or simplistic views, but at other moments I realize how dead on I was, almost a fortune teller. At the time of my original posts I was much younger, more idealistic, less realistic, perhaps even more naive, but nonetheless, there was a great deal of foreshadowing.

Some of you did ask via email and other channels, where did I go? What was I doing? Why was I not updating the blog? The short answer – I was doing life. The real world was calling with job demands, social demands, and generally just time demands. Plus, I think I started to develop apathy towards the fight for privacy. I got lazy. I thought either it was too hard or it wasn’t important or perhaps it was a lost cause? And you know what? I was wrong. My tagline was as true then as it surely is now, we *are* fighting a battle to keep our privacy. Who are we fighting against? Advertisers, data brokers, retailers, the government, nation states, personal enemies just trying to doxx you. The list goes on.

Over the last ten years I have grown in my wisdom, understanding and experience of how to live a more private life. It’s not easy and it’s not perfect. Every topic discussed won’t apply to everyone. Everyone will have a different risk matrix, threat landscape, risk profile, or whatever else you want to call it. Maybe privacy is a concern because of a previous relationship that wasn’t healthy. Maybe you are a high profile individual who might quickly become a target of various privacy invasions. Maybe you are a regular citizen who wants to have as small of a digital and physical footprint as possible. Whatever your reasons, my goal is to help others discover options for their specific use case that leads to a more private, discreet, safe life.

Stay safe, stay vigilant.

Topics: News | No Comments »

First They Came

By Patrick | June 11, 2009

Tags:

ИконописиконографияПравославни иконикухниHere’s an interesting video from civiliberties.eu. It may be more relevant to the US than we think.

Topics: Government | 492 Comments »

Data Loss Database

By Patrick | December 15, 2008

Tags:

I recently found out about the Open Security Foundation and their Data Loss Database.

The OSF Data Loss Database offers a number of reports detailing things like the latest data loss incidents and the most discussed data loss incidents. My favorite offering of this website is the RSS feed of latest data loss incidents: OSF Data Loss Database – Latest Incidents

The OSF DLD also has an interface on their website that allows you to drill down and see occurrences of data loss by data type (SSN, medical, financial), Sectors (Business, Education, etc) or Source of the loss (Outside, Inside Accidental, Inside Intentional).

This website not only keeps you up to date of the latest incidents, but it also serves as a reminder of why we should always be mindful when and where we give out personally identifiable information.

Topics: Misc | 2,657 Comments »

Anonymous Prepaid Credit Card Options

By Patrick | December 30, 2007

PLEASE READ – UPDATE – July 6th, 2008: This post has been merged into a page. Please go here for the full information: http://www.theprivacyguy.com/anonymous-credit-debit-cards

So here’s the list of Prepaid Credit Cards I will be investigating and detailing the conditions and requirements:

If anyone can think of anymore I should review, please let me know. Reviews on the above cards coming in January. I’m afraid however the news won’t be good. Most cards all appear to be checking for SSN’s and verifying them due to the Patriot Act.

I’ll keep you posted.

Topics: Anonymity, Patriot Act, Surveillance | 48 Comments »

Anonymous Prepaid Credit Cards (Update)

By Patrick | April 2, 2007

So far I’m enjoying my Vanilla Visa prepaid debit card. I used it three times this past weekend with no problems what so ever. I do have one obstacle I am going to need to find a solution for: the maximum dollar amount of a card. Currently, the maximum dollar amount of a Vanilla Visa card that you can purchase is $100.

I could go through $100 in a weekend, so it could get expensive paying $5.95 for every $100 card. I’m going to keep looking for a card that I could load with $500 or so. My other alternative is to just use the “clean card”, as I like to call it, with a little discretion. I’ll keep you posted.

Topics: Anonymity | 2,070 Comments »

Anonymous Prepaid Credit Cards

By Patrick | March 30, 2007

Tags: ,,,,,

PLEASE READ – UPDATE – July 6th, 2008: This post has been merged into a page. Please go here for the full information: http://www.theprivacyguy.com/anonymous-credit-debit-cards

For quite a while, I’ve been looking for an anonymous credit card. A truly anonymous credit card as in no personal information is associated with the card or stored on the card itself. If you Google “anonymous credit cards” you will get a number of links supposedly offering you anonymous credit cards, but proceed with caution.

I had in the past managed to find a number of anonymous “virtual” credit cards from my Google results, where I could get a number, expiration date and even CVV2. The problem was these cards were just virtual cards, but not physical cards that I could swipe. While this virtual credit card was great for online purchases and even mail order shopping, it didn’t offer a solution for my day to day needs like purchasing gas, groceries, etc. where a physical card is necessary.

Read the rest of this entry �

Topics: Anonymity, Identity Theft | 34 Comments »

Welcome

By Patrick | March 3, 2007

Welcome to The Privacy Guy blog, I’m your host, the Privacy Guy! This is a blog about anything relating to privacy, including but not limited to current privacy litigation, commercial and corporate policies affecting privacy, tips and suggestions on how to keep your personal life yours, and updates on privacy grassroots movements.

Everyday our privacy rights are challeneged by our government, corporations and other citizens. It’s time that we all take a stand and say “Enough is enough.” I hope to educate readers and bring to light many topics that are going unnoticed each and every day. Please check back often for news updates, opinions, and privacy strategy and tips.

Topics: Misc, News | 133 Comments »