Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged tracking

From EPIC:

The FBI announced that the Next Generation Identification system, one of the largest biometric databases in the world, has reached “full operational capability.” In 2013, EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit about the NGI program. EPIC obtained documents that revealed an acceptance of a 20% error rate in facial recognition searches. Earlier this year, EPIC joined a coalition of civil liberties groups to urge the Attorney General Eric Holder to release an updated Privacy Impact Assessment for the NGI. The NGI is tied to “Rap Back,” the FBI’s ongoing investigation of civilians in trusted positions. EPIC also obtained FOIA documents revealing FBI agreements with state DMVs to run facial recognition searches, linked to NGI, on DMV databases. EPIC’s recent Spotlight on Surveillance concluded that NGI has “far-reaching implications for personal privacy and the risks of mass surveillance.” For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. FBI – Next Generation identification.

Discussion at Slashdot.

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Ralph Lauren is the first luxury lifestyle brand to offer apparel that tracks and streams real-time workout data directly to your smartphone or tablet.

From Wired UK:

The shirt has biosensing silver fibres woven into its core and it can therefore be used to track distance, calories burned, movement intensity, heart rate and stress rate in real time. The moisture-wicking compression fabric apparently also increases blood circulation and aids muscle recovery — although this is the aim of much existing athletic garb.

The shirts have been created with the help of Canadian tech company OMsignal. The data collected by the shirt is stored in a black box, which incorporates an accelerometer and gyroscope. This black box then transmits data into the cloud, where it encounters a number of algorithms that pick out the key biometrics and psychometrics that the athlete, and maybe their coach, will want to know.

This black box is a separate device that can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and will last for up to 30 workouts before it needs recharging. It fits into the Ralph Lauren shirt and will ensure all the relevant data is properly transmitted to the app on your smartphone in real-time.

It should also be noted that OMsignal have a number of similar products already on the market that are no doubt cheaper than the Ralph Lauren version will be — and even then, they ain’t cheap.

More at Ralph Lauren.

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Hiding in Foursquare’s revamped mobile app is a feature some users might find creepy: It tracks your every movement, even when the app is closed.

users who download or update the Foursquare app will automatically let the company track their GPS coordinates any time their phone is powered on. Foursquare previously required users to give the app permission to turn on location-tracking. Now users must change a setting within the app to opt out.

Tracking user whereabouts could arm Foursquare with more valuable data it can sell to partners and advertisers as it searches for new streams of revenue. The company hopes to analyze trends in where users go and what destinations are popular, and may sell that data to its partners, Chief Executive Dennis Crowley said in an interview.

But this type of persistent location tracking could scare off users who are growing increasingly wary of threats to their mobile privacy. A third of smartphone owners surveyed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in 2012 said they have turned off the location-tracking capability on their devices, and most of those people were motivated by privacy concerns.


More at The Wall Street Journal
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text driving

Drivers in the UK are now going to be assumed guilty of using their cell phones in crashes just because they have them on their person.

Drivers involved in crashes will have their mobile phone seized as part of police crackdown aimed at cutting the number of deaths caused by calling and texting at the wheel.

Officers will check all phones for evidence that motorists broke the law by allowing themselves to be distracted by their hand-held device.

New guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers instructs officers to check the phones of all drivers.

This sets a dangerous precedent. Once people are accustomed to this policy, it will change to a broader sense where anyone being pulled over can have their phones checked.

A phone contains private information that will automatically become public once the information is confiscated by the police. What if the person is a doctor, lawyer, child welfare advocate, etc?

If the police suspect texting/talking while driving, a simple subpoena to the phone company would reveal this information. Prying into personal lives isn’t going to stop this behavior.

Photo credit.

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Privacy watchdogs are in uproar following revelations the U.S. government may have been behind a recent Facebook experiment. Marina Portnaya reports.

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