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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 »

Facebook Changes Terms Of Service

By Patrick | February 16, 2009

In case you haven’t heard, Facebook has changed their Terms of Service ever so quietly. On February 4th, Facebook announced a change of their TOS on their corporate blog, but no where else. Until today, no one had really paid any attention, or even known for that matter about the new TOS. That is, until Chris Walters over at The Consumerist broke the story Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: “We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.”мебели пловдивbackgammon free casino money free craps game play free black jack craps video poker strategy play black jack online how to win video poker casino game online uk best casino online casino secure online gambling jackpot casino online casino black jack learn to play craps how to win at video poker craps online blackjack casino game online casino betting free on line video poker casino games no download casino online gambling casino play free casino slots video poker machine bonus video poker free on line slots double bonus video poker free video poker games free casinos roulette online craps rules free on line casino rules of craps online casino free money blackjack 21 internet casino how to play craps free casino game download fortunelounge online casino free casino download free casino card game free roulette gamemach zehnder modulator free casino play no deposit free money casino internet casino online

While Facebook has released a couple statements detailing the what’s and why’s of this change, and frantically insisting that your privacy still supercedes all, I just don’t buy it. Looking back to a previous post I had written, Facebook and the Government, we are reminded of the possible government tie-ins that Facebook has. Plus, since this change was made without any notification whatsoever, what’s to keep them from changing it again with even more restrictive or invasive language? Granted, after this last change I’m sure people will be on the Facebook TOS like hawks. At least until they get complacent.

This also serves as a good reminder to all of us to be careful about what we put online. Do we really need a Facebook account? Isn’t an email or a phone call still sufficient? I’ll admit for a while I’ve let my privacy-paranoia mindset take a back seat. I’ve gotten lazy. I’ve said “It’s just so convenient having a Facebook page, or a Linkedin page, etc.” Now I’m reevaluating all of my online presence offerings.

Whether or not you were pleased with the 2008 elections, you have to agree that regardless of the party in office, government wants information, and more specifically your information. They can deny it all they want, but information and knowledge is power and Facebook is a gold mine of both. 1984 here we come.

Topics: Facebook, Government | 100 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 »

University of Florida Leaks 11,000 Social Security Numbers Online

By Patrick | July 4, 2008

“The University of Florida is sending letters to more than 11,000 current and former students to notify them that their Social Security numbers, names and addresses were accidentally posted online.”

June 10th, 2008 via WWSB ABC Newsrent a car bulgaria

Topics: Identity Theft | 2,604 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 »

Facebook Profiles Now Public

By Patrick | September 27, 2007

For those of you who might have missed the announcement (like my wife), Facebook has opened up their site to external search engines like Google and Yahoo earlier this month. What does this mean to you? Not a whole lot except now when someone types in your name to a search engine, they might be able to find your Facebook profile. However, they will only see a limited public profile like the one below.


There is no immediate cause for concern as there won’t be a huge amount of information available. However, for me personally, I don’t want any part of my Facebook profile indexed. So to ensure that your profile does not become available to the major search engines you can disable that feature by going to the Search Privacy page in your Facebook profile.

For more detailed instructions check out this blog posting from Of Zen and Computing.

Topics: Facebook | 1,490 Comments »

TD Ameritrade Hacked

By Patrick | September 14, 2007

Word coming out a couple hours ago on the AP Newswire (via MSNBC) that TD Ameritrade has been hacked and information has been compromised.

Bad news:

Information such as email addresses, names, addresses and phone numbers was retrieved from this database and affects TD AMERITRADE retail and institutional clients.

Good news:

Client assets held in accounts with the Company remain secure as UserIDs, personal identification numbers and passwords were not stored in this particular database.

MSNBC Article: Some TD Ameritrade info stolen
TD Ameritrade Press Release

Topics: Corporate, Identity Theft | 3,142 Comments »

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