Three Sneaky Ways Your Tech Spies on You
We live in a world filled with technology that tracks our purchases, interests, and whereabouts. Whether it’s Facebook keeping tabs of what we “like” so it can better advertise to us or GPS tracking our movements, we’re under surveillance.
This is a reality of the world we live in, and it is also a multifaceted issue.
From the ability of companies to track our preferences to community-based apps tracking the whereabouts of police speed traps, there are many aspects to take into account when evaluating what it all means to our lives and to our communities.
3 Sneaky Ways Your Tech Spies on You
And at least they’re actually warning you. Here are three sneaky spies you may not have suspected:
1. Data Embedded in Your Photos Tell All
Digital photos contain data embedded in them called Exif data. This is information that may be pertinent to the photo such as the date, time, and location of when and where it was taken. Contact and copyright information are also Exif data embedded in these photos. So when you text, snap, or email photos, or put them up on websites, all of the data of where you have been and when go up right along with your photo.
Surprisingly enough, Facebook and Twitter have actually taken measures to protect against this information leaking out on their sites by using software that strips Exif data and other metadata from photos during the upload process. Of course, Facebook and Twitter are spying on you in other ways, but this isn’t one of them.
2. Facebook Knows Your Face
Facebook has been running facial recognition software on its site for years. This can be convenient because the site will tell you who of your friends to tag in which photo when you mouse over them. Facebook also suggests friends to you based on people who appear in photos with you that aren’t even tagged. Google does this too. Unfortunately the only way to protect against this is to stop having friends with cameras and phones who use them. Basically, stay inside alone with your Smart TV and hope for the best.
3. Cell Phone Masts Know Where You Are
The way mobile phones work is they send encrypted messages back and forth with masts, or cells. When you get out of range of one mast, it hands off to another close by, which is what you hear when your phone clicks in your ear. That’s just your phone changing masts. It’s how your phone works. Of course, this means your phone network has an accurate record of where you are and where you have been. Yes, even if you disable GPS on your phone you are still being tracked. The only way around this sneaky spy is to stop using a cell phone.
In 2010, a saying emerged, “If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.” The rate at which technology has gotten better and more creative at spying on us has increased exponentially in the past five years. That adage is now truer now than ever, and will probably be evermore true in the years to come.