An Alert To Our Smartphones No Privacy

    New York Times reporters have tracked 12 million US citizens for several months, thanks to a database that an anonymous informant has assigned them.

    The Times Privacy Project got a file, which is the largest and most sensitive of all time by journalists.


Twelve million phones, no privacy

     It contains over 50 billion phone sites from over 12 million Americans as it passes through many major cities, including Washington, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

     Each piece of information in this file represents the exact location of a single smartphone over several months between 2016 and 2017. 

     The data was provided to Times Opinion by sources who requested anonymity because they were not allowed to share it and could face severe penalties for it.

    The sources said they were concerned about how they were being misused and urgently wanted to inform the public and legislators.

     The newspaper analyzed this data for several months with the support of scientists, researchers, lawyers, etc. In addition to the great graphics that give you the feeling that you are in a video game where every point represents a "Sims game", what is clearly scary is the level of detail of this information.

     After spending months browsing data, tracking the movement of people across the country, talking to dozens of data companies, technologists, lawyers, and academics studying this field, we feel the same thing. Feeling anxious.

     In the cities covered by the data file, it tracks people in almost all neighborhoods and alleys, whether they live in mobile homes in Alexandria, Virginia, or in luxury towers in Manhattan, and it even tracks the movements of hundreds of people wandering in the Pentagon maze corridors at the Pentagon.

      The Times and other news organizations reported that news of citizens being tracked by a smartphone was known for some time in the past. 

      But never with such a large data set. Nevertheless, this file represents only a small slice of what is collected and sold daily by the website tracking industry - observing everywhere in our digital life so that it is now impossible for anyone to avoid.

A cookie to locate Android users

     Turning off the smartphone or tablet site is not enough to escape from Google ... Since January 2017 the American giant has been collecting the geographical location of its Android customers and uses its operating system each month with more than 2 billion active stations worldwide.

      Google was relying on the relay antennas that Android devices use while connected to the Internet, according to a survey by the American website Quartz.

     More specifically, the Android portion, which manages to send messages and notifications, collected this information without the users ’knowledge, before sending it to Google. According to Mountain Corporation.

Samir Sali

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