Even before with the former NSA consultant Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the NSA spying technology programs, including the ability to remotely turn on the microphone on your cell phone in 2014, I’ve been tuned into the shadow use of technology.
The past 18 months has extended this to acknowledge that more than just the NSA is listening to our phones. With the rise of digital assistants, Siri, Hey Google, Alexa and applications such as Facebook using devices in your home and on your phone, we have inadvertently allowed these into the sanctum sanctorum of the Tyled lodge.
In the news, in May 2018 Alexa’s clandestine recording of a woman’s conversation was sent to a random contact in her email. Amazon was compelled by a judge in New Hampshire to produce recordings from a home of a double homicide.
According to Apple, Siri is not eavesdropping at all. Instead, the software’s ability to respond to a voice command is programmed in. But take that for what you will.
However, that doesn’t mean that Apple devices are safe. Other applications, such as Facebook, collect information by any means necessary. Just mention an odd item around your phone and see how fast Facebook starts showing you ads.
Even your Smart TVs at home are not exempt from eavesdropping. This is not Logitech to Roku and Chromecast devices. Written in the documentation that nobody reads, Samsung states
So what can you do?
Nothing, privacy is dead. Almost. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, eff.org has resources to help and keep government organizations in check. For everyone else, it’s a consumer market place, vote with your dollars and time. Understand that free and inexpensive items are supplemented by ad dollars.
Most members are unaware of what exactly this little device does in your pocket. I’d love to say hey google / Siri turn volume to 100%, and play music.
When in lodge, don’t just silence your ringer, turn off your phone.
John Evans, Jr., PM