10 Technologies Being Used to Invade Our Privacy

Technology has become a part of almost everyone’s lives. It would be hard to do without computers, cell phones, GPS devices, and gaming systems for many of us. Public video cameras have proliferated and are evolving. Smart phones have taken the regular cell phone to a new level.

This article will examine how these devices are penetrating our privacy. Technology is being used for much more than just helping and protecting us.

Infrared Cameras

It is illegal for law enforcement to walk into a house and spy on someone without a warrant. It is alright for them to use a device that can see through the walls and spy on someone outside the house.

The only thing that is different is the spy is not physically in the house. This should be as illegal as a camera in the bathroom. What makes it even more concerning is that there is no way to tell if law enforcement is looking through the bathroom walls.

GPS Tracking Devices

It is illegal for a citizen to place a GPS tracking device on someone’s vehicle and track their location. It is perfectly alright, legally, for a government agent to place a GPS device on any vehicle, even if it is parked in the person’s driveway. It is not illegal for the device to be detected by the owner of the vehicle and removed. The government may show up and ask for their device back.

Behavior Recognition Security Cameras

Security cameras are being retrofitted to include a firmware chip that can recognize human behavior patterns. The data is fed to a computer that can inform security personnel of suspicious activity.

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Xbox Kinect

Called Xbox project Natal, Microsoft has leaked information that they may be using the Kinect’s built in cameras for spying on what is going on. The information is supposedly going to be used for marketing purposes and sold to third parties.

Facebook Accounts

There is much evidence that social networking sites such as Facebook is being used for data harvesting. The data is already being saved into a file and it unknown who, ultimately, has access to the information. Try removing a Facebook account. It can’t be done. Facebook only allows one to deactivate it, but the account still exists.

Google Earth

It is really scary that pictures of almost every house and business is readily available via Google Earth. This easy access makes it easy for criminals to determine the best way to approach a property before committing a crime. Google does provide a way that one can block access to a property’s image.

Smartphones

There are several apps available that allow the user of a smartphone to turn on the camera, microphone and GPS function to another person’s smartphone without them knowing about it. One malware product is called rootkit.

Search Engines

It is a well know fact that search engine data is collected and stored via cookies. Turning cookies off doesn’t always stop it since another program could be generating it’s own cookies.

Body Scanners

It is hard to believe the government can get by with this one. TSA even scans the pilots that are already authorized to carry guns. The insanity of it all. Recent news has reported many stories regarding this issue.

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Microsoft Operating System

The Microsoft Operating system has very little security. If it did then it would be hard for the OS to be infected with malware and spyware. Microsoft is finding and fixing these security holes all the time with no end in sight. The Linux OS is the only viable solution that has real security.

Conclusion

It is virtually impossible to know everything that is going on in today’s high tech world. We are all being spied on. The best defense is to limit personal information access and be aware it can always be used against you in some way.

Sources:

Professional experience in computer security
Clay Dillow, “Kinect Camera Data Could Be Sold for Ad Targeting.” popsci.com
Chris Morran, “Personal Infor for 100 MillionFacebook Users Harvested into One File.” consumerist.com
Eric Bland, “Malicious Software Turns Your Cell Phone Against You.” news.discovery.com
Elinor Mills, “Microsoft Fixes Record 49 Holes, including Stuxnet Flaw.” news.cnet.com