Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Verizon Draws Fire For Monitoring App Usage, Browsing Habits

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the stop-selling-my-info-bro dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 136

An anonymous reader writes "'We're able to view just everything that they do,' Bill Diggins, U.S. chief for the Verizon Wireless marketing initiative, told an industry conference earlier this year. 'And that's really where data is going today. Data is the new oil.' From the article: 'The company this month began offering reports to marketers showing what Verizon subscribers are doing on their phones and other mobile devices, including what iOS and Android apps are in use in which locations. Verizon says it may link the data to third-party databases with information about customers' gender, age, and even details such as "sports enthusiast, frequent diner or pet owner."'"

cancel ×

136 comments

Bubble ads (5, Insightful)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41691179)

Even more opportunity for me to get offers for things I REALLY DON'T NEED.

Re:Bubble ads (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41691217)

Even more opportunity for me to get offers for things I REALLY DON'T NEED.

It's not very anonymous if they can push targeted ads.
I thought the only thing that's keeping this initiative legal is the fact that data is aggregated?

Re:Bubble ads (1)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41691705)

The best part is the premium price you pay to Verizon on top of being sucked for information by them.
Good thing there are no rules regarding this, it might stagnate job creation... for my freedom.

Re:Bubble ads (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#41692313)

The whole point is that the advertiser pays Verizon, tells them what segments they want to target, and then Verizon mass pushes the ad to that segment. No specific data is transferred to the advertiser, but everybody's happy (except you the end user, but who gives a shit about you, right?)

Re:Bubble ads (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 years ago | (#41691389)

Spekking of bubble... Perhaps the man is right, and data is the new oil, in the sense that we are (hopefully) fast approaching "peak data", or the point where Joe Public finally has had enough of his privacy being taken in every orifice for the sole purpose of pushing more of the same useless ads at us, to make us buy the same useless crap we don't want. I can only hope the backlash turns at least a little bit violent in places.

Re:Bubble ads (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41692001)

Spekking of bubble... Perhaps the man is right, and data is the new oil [...]

If they want to mine my ass for data I'll expect to be reimbursed with a percentage of the take -- I know the difference between my ass and a hole in the ground... It's time we put an end to all this "I drink your Milkshake!" crap.

Re:Bubble ads (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | about 2 years ago | (#41693189)

So there basically doing the same thing Google does except they are doing it threw there network rather then threw the OS.

Now people have tags (4, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41691183)

Verizon's the first, but watch Google and others to follow now that it's mainstreamed. We're all going to get put into consumer categories based on our online activities:

sports fan, shoe fetish, gear head, porn enthusiast

These will match up to categories of products which we will then see repeatedly everywhere we go until we get so paranoid we buy them just to feel normal.

It's like minority report, but as a for-profit business instead of a pre-crime intervention.

Re:Now people have tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691249)

sports fan, shoe fetish, gear head, porn enthusiast

Not to mention the fascinating combinations that this generates :)

gear head + porn enthusiast

Sports fan + shoe fetish

shoe fetish + porn enthusiast

The mind boggles

Re:Now people have tags (2)

alphatel (1450715) | about 2 years ago | (#41691319)

sports fan, shoe fetish, gear head, porn enthusiast

Not to mention the fascinating combinations that this generates :)

gear head + porn enthusiast

Sports fan + shoe fetish

shoe fetish + porn enthusiast

I would certainly be labeled a sports porn head gear fetish enthusiast

Re:Now people have tags (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about 2 years ago | (#41691649)

I would certainly be labeled a sports porn head gear fetish enthusiast

I would watch that sport. I mean really, if it came down to that or an Idol competition?

Re:sports porn head gear fetish enthusiast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691991)

"I would certainly be labeled a sports porn head gear fetish enthusiast"

Really?!

And you missed your chance to link to GearFetish.com?

So much for targeted advertising.

Re:Now people have tags (5, Interesting)

GIL_Dude (850471) | about 2 years ago | (#41691301)

Actually I think it is worse than that. We all have things we like to do. Many people have things that they like to do that they really don't want others to know about. It might be that shoe fetish you mentioned. It could be gambling. As soon as people realize that they are being tracked on these activities and lists are being sold saying that they engage in them, they may modify their behavior. And while this may seem a net good for gambling or jailbait or something - it may eventually extend to things like "votes libertarian" or "is an atheist" or even "hindu, but frequents burger king" or whatever. I really don't want to see us get so far as to have people consciously having to modify their normal (legal) behaviors simply because they are being reported, tracked, and shipped to anyone with some money. You never know when that information will get out and you don't know who will see it. Let's label it "do not want" and see if we can prevent this "behavior modification through tracking everything" dystopia from becoming a reality.

Verizon has just added a new tag to your profile! (5, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41691449)

We notice that you've been modifying your behavior in response to our tagging. To better serve you, we have tagged you paranoid in our consumer tracking database. This tag reflects your interests and desires as a consumer.

Coincidentally, we are offering you discounts this week:

* 25% off "Ron Paul: The Retaliation" tshirts
* $10 off paramilitary gear if you spend $25
* Free shipping on gas masks from Amazon.com
* Buy 1984 and Brave New World together and save $5 at Abe Books
* Click here to consult with an offshore banking expert

We think you may also qualify for these related tags: prepper, gun owner, cave or basement habitation expert.

If you have any questions, please call our automated line for a recorded answer.

Re:Now people have tags (3, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#41691725)

I'm betting this turns into a blackmail database available to the highest bidding politician soon enough.

Re:Now people have tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691377)

Google already does this per their mail agreement. They scan your mail to target personalized ads.

Re:Now people have tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691949)

Google already does it. Has for years.

Re:Now people have tags (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41692051)

Verizon's the first, but watch Google and others to follow now that it's mainstreamed.

Introducing: Google Now!

Interdasting, its almost like you can predict the past. [google.com]

Re:Now people have tags (4, Interesting)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about 2 years ago | (#41692179)

At least Google offers services for FREE. Verizon charges you $100/month to have your data farmed so you can get ads you don't want.

Re:Now people have tags (2)

Beat The Odds (1109173) | about 2 years ago | (#41692713)

Verizon's the first, but watch Google and others to follow now that it's mainstreamed. We're all going to get put into consumer categories based on our online activities:

sports fan, shoe fetish, gear head, porn enthusiast

These will match up to categories of products which we will then see repeatedly everywhere we go until we get so paranoid we buy them just to feel normal.

It's like minority report, but as a for-profit business instead of a pre-crime intervention.

Maybe you should actually watch Minority Report.

Assholes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691195)

Verizon Wireless says that its initiative, called Precision Market Insights, is legal because the information is aggregated and doesn't reveal customers' identities.

The thought of "ethical" or "good for the customers" isn't in their vocabulary, is it?

If they found the legal loophole that allowed literally ass-raping customers to make extra money, they'd use it the same day.

Re:Assholes (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41691225)

If they found the legal loophole that allowed literally ass-raping customers to make extra money, they'd use it the same day.

Well bugger that for a laugh

Re:Assholes (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41691779)

Well bugger that for a laugh

You missed an apostrophe in the first word.

Re:Assholes (1)

noc007 (633443) | about 2 years ago | (#41692027)

Have you seen their new plans? That's an ass-raping right there and their Q3 profits are up as a result.

Re:Assholes (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#41691915)

The thought of "ethical" or "good for the customers" isn't in their vocabulary, is it?

selling "goods to the customer", however, is.

Re:Assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692461)

selling "the customer as goods", however, is.

FTFY

Re:Assholes (5, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 years ago | (#41692147)

The thought of "ethical" or "good for the customers" isn't in their vocabulary, is it?

How quaint. You still think their cell phone users are customers. When it comes to data like this, advertising agencies are the customer. Cell phone users are a resource to be mined.

We need to take the laws requiring opt-out forms for credit card and bank accounts, and expand it to cover all services which wish to sell customer data.

Re:Assholes (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#41692315)

What you say is true for the likes of Google, who offer free services. Verizon is potentially setting themselves up for problems because the data they're mining IS from their customers: most of their profits come from people paying their phone bills.

Re:Assholes (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 2 years ago | (#41692733)

I ain't gonna pay $100 per month with capped data just so these leeches can resell my usage habits to the highest bidder.

Fuck those fucking fuckers.

Re:Assholes (1)

vawwyakr (1992390) | about 2 years ago | (#41693603)

Best and truest comment ever.

Person of Interest (4, Funny)

Bongo (13261) | about 2 years ago | (#41691229)

Mr Reese, I have a new number for you. This one is about to go buy a KFC. You have 15 mins to get there before he does and make sure he buys McDonalds.

OK Mr Finch, how do you suggest I persuade him? The M16 or the AK47?

Re:Person of Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691719)

The M16 or the AK47?

If you had an AK-47 you'd be treating it with oil and preparing it for auction. No '47s have been made since the late 1950s.

It's like saying you flew into New York this morning on a 707, because the 777 that actually conveyed you looked a bit like it from a distance.

Re:Person of Interest (0)

Bongo (13261) | about 2 years ago | (#41692241)

:-) informative!

Re:Person of Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691841)

Mr Reese, I would recommend the AK, I just received a 20% off coupon on 39mm ammo from Amazon

Root that phone and run a custom ROM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691233)

Root the phone and kill their monitoring ability. Cyanogen Mod is better than anything that Verizon will roll out.

Re:Root that phone and run a custom ROM (4, Informative)

f3rret (1776822) | about 2 years ago | (#41691243)

Doesn't help you if what they're monitoring and analyzing is your upstream data traffic.

Re:Root that phone and run a custom ROM (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#41691679)

VPN proxy. I think every smartphone has that built-in.

  Of course, it doesn't stop them from pulling location data or calling patterns. Unless you install a VoIP app and use that.

Re:Root that phone and run a custom ROM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691247)

You could just opt out.

Re:Root that phone and run a custom ROM (2)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41691329)

That's too easy

Geeks like to do things twice as hard and five times as long

Re:Root that phone and run a custom ROM (5, Funny)

mrsurb (1484303) | about 2 years ago | (#41691373)

I don't hear my wife complaining...

Re:Root that phone and run a custom ROM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692427)

Neither do I!

Re:Root that phone and run a custom ROM (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41692639)

has she been properly bindered?

just asking questions, that's all.

Re:Root that phone and run a custom ROM (1)

noc007 (633443) | about 2 years ago | (#41692113)

Opting out doesn't mean anything to me. Ok so I opt-out of them selling my information; unless I missed it, nothing on that opt-out page said anything about stopping all of their data collection. What guarantee do I have that they're not going to sell my information anyways? So I move a few radio buttons around and they stay there when I refresh the page; what stops them from distributing that information anyways? They don't have any ethics to begin with. They'll happily change someone's plan mid-contract and tell them too-bad.

Should be a limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691267)

There should be a limit on the number of details that can be linked. Sure they don't give you an exact name and address, but after 4 or 5 things that include location based info, you can ID someone.

How much would a court of law need to reasonably identify a person? More, less?

Re:Should be a limit (5, Interesting)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | about 2 years ago | (#41691335)

There should be a limit on the number of details that can be linked.

Yes, and that number should be zero. If I'm paying for the service, they have no moral right to be selling my data, anonymized or not, nor do they have a right to link it to third-party databases. And they especially have no moral right to use that data to engage in targeted advertising. Fuck those leeches and fuck the tide of slime they rode in on. And fuck the politicians who have sold us out to the highest bidder by legalizing this kind of thing.

Re:Should be a limit (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41691851)

Yes, and that number should be zero. If I'm paying for the service, they have no moral right to be selling my data, anonymized or not, nor do they have a right to link it to third-party databases. And they especially have no moral right to use that data to engage in targeted advertising. Fuck those leeches and fuck the tide of slime they rode in on. And fuck the politicians who have sold us out to the highest bidder by legalizing this kind of thing.

Their response: "If you don't like it, feel free to get the fuck off of our network. kthxbai!"

If you need their service, you accept their terms. Do you need their service? Be sure to look up a definition of the word "need" before you answer.

Re:Should be a limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693625)

My response: OK

Verizon charges 2x as much for 2gb of data as Virgin Mobile prepaid, and 4x as much as T-Mobile prepaid. Why the fuck would I continue to pay more for less data, and a binding contract 2 year phone lease?.Smartphones are too fucking cheap to be used as carrots to sign a deal with the devil any more.

Verizon's ONLY competitive advantage at this point is coverage, but that won't inspire me to reach for the KY.

Virgin Mobile pissed me off last month and I'm feeling fickle enough to move to T-Mobile. You see, I can fire my mobile carrier in less than 30 days with no cost penalty.

You jelly?

Re:Should be a limit (3, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41692117)

They have just as much "moral right" to discuss their customer's habits as their customers have to discuss their habits, as is happening in this very discussion on /. If you're paying for service, part of the cost of providing that service may be subsidized by selling info which has value.

They disclose what they do with the info and offer an "opt-out [verizonwireless.com] " (may need to be a customer to view that page) and if you don't trust that, no one is forcing you to use their services.

"Moral" doesn't mean what you think it means.

Re:Should be a limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692771)

Thanks, mine was on, even though I don't have the one app they describe. :)

Porn Ads (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691269)

I guess I'll start getting ads for porn sites.

Re:Porn Ads (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about 2 years ago | (#41691747)

Welcome to the internet, former AOL or Compuserve user.

reminds me of french 1st TV chain (1)

Herve5 (879674) | about 2 years ago | (#41691295)

... whose president, a couple of years ago, surprised some people announcing coldly that he was there exclusively to 'provide receptive brain time to ads', and nothing else...
A receptive brain provider, in his own french terms: 'fournisseur de cerveau disponible'.

The TV indeed you can choose not to have; the GSM seems a bit harder.

Maybe the solution is to separate functions: having a minimal-but-tetherable phone, and pair it with a small tablet that you (may?) control better, or at least whose data won't immediately belong to the phone supplier?

I for one use a Blackberry Playbook (walled garden, but no relation to the A/G duopoly, and there does exist a couple of ad-filtering browsers), after trying to wait till the first Linux tablet...

Re:reminds me of french 1st TV chain (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#41691361)

... whose president, a couple of years ago, surprised some people announcing coldly that he was there exclusively to 'provide receptive brain time to ads', and nothing else...

Nothing surprising about that. TV networks sell Ads, but they buy programs.

Re:reminds me of french 1st TV chain (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 years ago | (#41692119)

That is ironic, but I can see it making sense. First it was device convergence, where the camera, USB flash drive, PDA, pager, cell phone, and MP3 player were rolled into one. Now we separate devices due to security issues. That way, the cell phone has no access to the documents on the camera, and the tablet has no access to what the text messages are.

Maybe a saner model might be to use a trusted proxy server for all traffic, have a capable enough OS on the device so an app does not get access to photos or contacts if explicitly authorized, and use multiple Web browsers. For example, I use one browser which auto-purges itself for general stuff, another browser for YouTube watching, and a third for anything I want to keep around.

If We Really Had A Working Court System... (2)

TheEyes (1686556) | about 2 years ago | (#41691315)

...Verizon would be receiving an anti-trust conviction a few hours after admitting something like this.

Re:If We Really Had A Working Court System... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691357)

...Verizon would be receiving an anti-trust conviction a few hours after admitting something like this.

You use that word. I don't think it means [wikipedia.org] what you think it means.

Re:If We Really Had A Working Court System... (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 2 years ago | (#41691573)

There's no law against it and the courts are not supposed to make law.

The problem is Congress and the FCC. This won't get resolved as long as elected officials may take campaign contributions from people they don't represent.

2008 Telecoms immunity/ Carrier IQ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691321)

When Congress granted US telcos immunity in 2008 it set this up then. Now they think they can act with impunity and are above the law. And they know, if they happen to be breaking the law, nobody will go to jail, no penalties will be paid, they'll just sponsor a few Congresscritters and any snooping will be legalized.

I also wonder if this is deep packet inspection only, because what Apps your using would only work if those apps were cloud services. However there is a piece of spyware that was installed on US phones, Android, iPhone and Windows Phones, Carrier IQ, which did have the ability to monitor app usage on the phone itself.
So I wonder if we aren't seeing the result of that spyware on the phone.

Re:2008 Telecoms immunity/ Carrier IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691339)

Aside from (some) games and trivial stuff like calculators, what apps do you frequently use that aren't frontends to a cloud service?

Re:2008 Telecoms immunity/ Carrier IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691613)

Grocery list, notes, todos, my calendar, photography apps, book reader, email (to my server), TV remotes, some database stuff, some network utilities, an SSH client. There are some things beyond trivial stuff and games.

Re:2008 Telecoms immunity/ Carrier IQ (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41692199)

What are you talking about? the Telecom immunity only extends to government ordered activities concerning the TSP and FISA monitoring issued without warrants between a certain time period.

Anything the telecoms do outside of those specific instances is fair game to go after them and they are not immune from anything. Perhaps what you think is against the law isn't actually so? Maybe there was another immunity law that I'm not aware of, it so please cite it.

It was after-the-fact legalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692669)

It taught the telcos that it's ok to break the law, they can always fix it in the politics later. Just like the last time.

Orbot: Mobile Anonymity + Circumvention (4, Interesting)

ArmageddonLord (607418) | about 2 years ago | (#41691333)

Need more TOR! https://guardianproject.info/apps/orbot/ [guardianproject.info]

Re:Orbot: Mobile Anonymity + Circumvention (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41691817)

VPN to your home PC, Tor from there. Tor helps protect your anonymity by mixing in your browsing with background relay traffic; A bugger if you're on a low data cap tariff. Plus, all your phone provider sees is a VPN connection. Lots of travelling folk who tether their laptops etc use those; Not so conspicuous in the logs.

Does opt-out really opt you out? (4, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | about 2 years ago | (#41691343)

How do you know?

Verizon has its own definition of 'unlimited' why would they not do the same for 'opt-out'?

Sham Opt Outs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691653)

It'll be a sham opt out. Verizon are so untrustworthy that they mine and sell your secrets, yet trustworthy enough to honor an opt-out? No way! Doing that will simply put a 'likes privacy'flag on the packet of data they're selling.

Myself I think Verizon will hire astroturfing companies:
http://web.archive.org/web/20110622211824/http://advantageconsultants.org/

Verizon did this before, on the “freedom in telecommunications” bill, to block a competitor:
http://truth-out.org/news/item/3903-the-purpose-of-a-free-press

Lots of fake comments supporting the bill and misrepresenting its contents. A quick dig to see what they're up to now, they seems to have been hired to get Alan Grayson elected in Florida as a fake tea party candidate:
http://teapartywire.com/faketeaparty/tag/doug-guetzloe/

Dress him up, give him fake tea party reformer credentials backed by lots of 'honest' citizens repeating his talking points. Works too, he's well ahead.

So expect to see a lot of Verizon customer' comments in the press about how customers are really excited about this, all the potential new services this data will bring, how free markets will decide etc. and how everyone should look at the real villains like ...[list]

Funny how corporations are people, often lots and lots of them, all saying the same talking points:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/27/1010778/-BREAKING-Leaked-Rove-email-singles-out-Daily-Kos

Re:Does opt-out really opt you out? (2)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 2 years ago | (#41692687)

Good question. I logged into my Verizon account and went to the privacy page [verizonwireless.com] . It offered a link to the privacy policy and a link to a page for Location-Based Services (LBS) Privacy Settings. I visited the settings page first, and it said there was nothing to set. What I skimmed said something about Verizon Navigator, which I don't use because it is a paid service, and Google Maps is so good. (Does this mean they take your money and spy on you at the same time? I know Google spies on me, but it doesn't cost me a nickel for the privilege.) Then I visited the privacy policy page [verizon.com] and found this:

Information Shared Outside the Verizon Family of Companies:

Except as explained in this Privacy Policy, in privacy policies for specific services, or in agreements with our customers, Verizon does not sell, license or share information that individually identifies our customers, people using our networks, or website visitors with others outside the Verizon family of companies for non-Verizon purposes without the consent of the person whose information will be shared.

It sounds a little like breach of contract to me if they sell my information. But, of course, there is an arbitration clause, so the chances of a class action are pretty minimal.

OTOH, Declan McCullagh often cries wolf, and sometimes he stretches things out of proportion.

PUCS? no more privacy in changing use-agreements. (5, Interesting)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about 2 years ago | (#41691353)

Considering that you can't easily tor-browse out of a mobile device, there's no way at all to maintain any sort of privacy when you use a 3g-cell device to access the internet. Your service provider has always had access to everything you browse, everything you ping, everything you email, every TCP/IP port you may have open and every bit-and-byte of all traffic passing through those port channels. Wasn't there supposed to be some modicum of privacy?

.

Wasn't there supposed to be some modicum of privacy afforded to the end-users by the networks if all they did was run a comm-channel? I guess the retro-active pardoning of the telco-spying on all customers turned the notion of privacy inside-out. So along with goggle's staring at you at all of your port-80 traffic with doubleclicks and javascript and others using flash-based cookies, you've got to worry about eaves-dropping of all of your activity over you communications channels.

.

I'm sure that "our" express consent is buried somewhere in the fine-print of the ever-changeable-when-they-want-to user agreements. That concept of one-sided ability of the service provided to change the terms of the usage-agreement at any time and without notice has to be the most odious of the gotchas that exist in this world. I'm not face-booking because they change their privacy policy as often as possible and always reset the privacy settings to show-the-world-everything-including-your-undies every time they update anything like timeline.

.

Can the Public Utilities Commission do anything about this? or are cell-phone/wireless plans beyond the scope of the PUCs?

Re:PUCS? no more privacy in changing use-agreement (3, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41691837)

VPN to your home PC, access Tor through that. Orbot is also an alternative, but you lose some anonymity / plausible deniability ("No, that was relay traffic. I wasn't using Tor at the time that really bad thing happened") by not running as a relay (which would be expensive on a limited data plan).

VPN (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#41692833)

I used to be able to VPN to home on my old carrier.
More recently I attempted, and neither PPTP and L2TP worked. I'm still investigating for other causes, but I wouldn't be surprised to find it's blocked.

Just becuase you can does not mean you should ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691363)

Bill, Think about all the things you do each day, and then have the thought of having it published to anyone trying to make a buck. Between calls from "rachel of Credit Card service". "FOP", various political survey, my homeline phone number almost useless. Compound that with turning my smart phone in yet another targeted ad platform means that I consider Bill Diggens and his ilk to be enemies of the state.

Re:Just becuase you can does not mean you should ! (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 2 years ago | (#41693455)

Do what I do - default ringtone - silence. Default vibration - off. Add in your real known contacts, group them, and give them a ringtone - more than one if you prefer. Now remain blissfully uninterrupted by all those "unknowns" etc. They'll leave voicemail if they're important and not in your contact list. That takes care of being bothered by robo-call asshats and the like.

Next, delete your FB, Twitter, and other crap social accounts. Disconnect. You don't need them, and won't miss them, especially if your friends aren't tied to them either. Drop other apps that use any of these services, although since you're no longer connected, your targeted ads will quickly become rather random. (It's best to uninstall, clean, and reinstall such apps, as they do tend to have ID data in them, and FB especially is notorious for never deleting anything. You might want to even wipe the phone and start over)

After all this, you'll still be identifiable, but at least you won't be linked to accounts in other data mining company services. With the VPN option, you can even reduce some of this additional tracking, but, unless you root your phone and do a custom install, you'll never really be sure of exactly what's being kept.

Time to renegotiate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691365)

If I'm going to be a commodity, I'd like to be compensated.

explanation (2)

jonpublic (676412) | about 2 years ago | (#41691369)

What level of access do they have? I need details explaining more. Can they see what you are doing when you are on a cellular network, or when you are on wifi too.

Can they see what you are doing when you are using private browsing? Are they capturing passwords and storing them? Is the device pushing back secure information to them?

Does a VPN prevent tracking?

I expect some things when using a cellphone. Having them essentially listen in on all my communication or interaction with others is not one of them.

Re:explanation (1)

Wansu (846) | about 2 years ago | (#41691421)

  Can they see what you are doing when you are using private browsing? Are they capturing passwords and storing them? Is the device pushing back secure information to them?

Yeah, like online banking. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691471)

Yeah, if you could prove they 'hacked' your connection and 'stole' personal health records, you probably could sue.

Re:explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691965)

Does a VPN prevent tracking?

yes, but they would see the vpn connection.

Re:explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691969)

Yes, good question. If I'm a VZ subscriber, how can I prevent this from happening? Root/Cyanogenmod my Android device? Or do they actually look into the data coming out of my phone, meaning all I need to do is TOR/PGP?

Re:explanation (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41692093)

What level of access do they have? I need details explaining more.

Ah, how quick the fools are to simply forget about Carrier IQ. [wikipedia.org]

Web page for changing privacy settings not working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691479)

I tried to turn this kind of information sharing off for my account and got the following message:

"We were unable to complete your requested change at this time. Please try again later."

Slashdot Draws Fire For Monitoring Browsing Habits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691499)

Every site you have an account with can, and probably does record statistics about what you do. Amazon has made a business out of it.

I'm sure even /. has data on us. Ever look at your account and see all comments you've ever posted? Ever notice the "You may like to read" section? Is that the same for everyone, or is it tailored to the types of articles you read regularly?

Is tracking wright or wrong? On one hand it gives us product (article) suggestions that match our personal taste. I spoken to some common folk that LOVE this. But at the cost of your tracking your personl habits is the price too high? Do we even have choice? I don't think there is an answer.

Thank /. for anonymous posing! (or is it really anonymous?)

Evil. (3, Insightful)

mattr (78516) | about 2 years ago | (#41691523)

There's crossing the line, and then there's blowing past it in a rocket car while going for the world land speed record.
Did you every think when you were younger, if you remember before the Internet, that your phone company would listen in on your conversations, analyze them word for word, tally them up and present them to advertisers in neat little charts?
The government does that? Heck I'm not doing anything wrong.
The utility does it for profit? Mmmm.. no.
The hulking sasquatch in the corner is that you can in fact find out things about people, or even more easily, about tiny groups of interest, even if you have stripped the caller data. And what if one of your marketing customers has written some finely targeted apps, for which they buy the report? It may be quite easy to integrate the additional data with what they have already got.

Well then... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#41691593)

...good thing I no longer use their image.
I'm sure they're still monitoring my data, but I doubt cyanogenmod sends them info on my app usage.
I just wish the CM team would make an INC 2 image past 7. Despite the fact their news posts claim they support it, I've yet to see one.
I've tried the unofficial builds but they haven't played well with my phone, the last one i tried sent my battery into overdrive.

change provider ? (1)

lexa1979 (2020026) | about 2 years ago | (#41691889)

Uh? can't you even vote with your wallet ? drop Verizon and get a new contract with some other carrier ?

Re:change provider ? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41693209)

Uh? can't you even vote with your wallet ? drop Verizon and get a new contract with some other carrier ?

Morton's Fork [wikipedia.org]

Doesn't matter which carrier you have a contract with, they all engage in this sort of deep monitoring. Verizon is just being particularly blatant about it.. today. Tomorrow, it will be AT&T, or T-Mobile, or [Insert Carrier Here].

Why isn't the law being honored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691893)

I don't understand why people are not all over this. This is a complete disregard for the law. This is wiretapping and selling the results. Period. Its illegal under existing laws for telcos to do this. The only satisfactory solution is to throw the board, and the CEO, and likely many other Verizon executives, into prison for 30-60 years and fine the shit out of the company to the tune of several billion. Anything less is unacceptable. Anything less is just more proof of how incredibly corrupt our government has become. The fact they are not already in prison is wonderful proof of just how far this country has shifted away from a democratic republic to corporatism.

This is not acceptable in any way. Anything else is simply an open invitation to a police state.

verizon remote diagnostics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692187)

Maybe this explains why the Verizon Remote Diagnostics app has been launching itself on my phone even though I haven't called Verizon and asked for any assistance. Verizon has stated that this app will only be launched with the customers consent during a service call, but that's a bold faced lie.

MILFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692359)

Well, that explains why all the advertising I get is for coeds and MILFs looking for fsck buddies in my area. Too bad they can't filter who they sell my info to better. If only one of those offers wasn't a scam ... sigh. :P

That makes the decision easier! (1)

barakn (641218) | about 2 years ago | (#41692495)

My contract with AT&T ends in December. Now I can scratch Verizon off the list. Now which company DOESN'T do this?

Re:That makes the decision easier! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693317)

Tmobile - AT&T almost certainly will before the end of your next contract.

Re:That makes the decision easier! (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#41693685)

My contract with AT&T ends in December. Now I can scratch Verizon off the list. Now which company DOESN'T do this?

The all do it, they all have the means and the access to your data, Verizon was just stupid enough to admit it in public.

SSL only (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about 2 years ago | (#41692673)

The solution is to only use encrypted services. If your fav site or does not encrypt ask the provider to add that option.

Re:SSL only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693277)

They will still know which app/site you visited at which time and place.

Secrecy of communications is an old idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692739)

that prevents the phone company from using or publishing anything they overhear in phone conversations.

They must have access to the calls because they carry them, but they are prevented by law from misusing this access.

It looks like we need the same sort of rules for ISP's and data service providers.
    Just because your are carrying the packet doesn't mean you should look at it more than is required to carry it.

I'm sure there'll be a class-action lawsuit (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#41692857)

Rather than ignoring the postcards that guarantee me a whopping $10 in the settlement, I might actually file my own claim just to be a jerk. I'm big on privacy and if this is true, I wouldn't be unhappy to see them run into the ground for this.

Awww... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692905)

It's just so precious and cute that people thought any cellphone company wasn't doing this already. Especially after the telcos got a free pass for spying on behalf of the goverment already!

Do you still believe in santa too?

Can't wait for the google phone. Free phone. Zero fees. With all the same tracking that any other phone has. From a company that says right up front we're tracking everything everywhere.

Honest scumbag company beats dishonest scumbag company any day.

Sports enthusiast, frequent diner, pet owner,... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41693493)

... Department of Justice prosecutor specializing in Federal wiretapping law enforcement.

Nice quote, Bruno (1)

dubdays (410710) | about 2 years ago | (#41693605)

"'We're able to view just everything that they do,' Bill Diggins, U.S. chief for the Verizon Wireless marketing initiative, told an industry conference earlier this year.

All I have to say is that guy better have a huge jock strap. The size of his balls must be staggering to make a comment like that.

A Couple of Points (5, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41693633)

1) A lot of corporations use Verizon as the carrier for their company-owned cell phones; depending on who uses what apps and phones, this data mining could easily be construed as corporate espionage, as well as national security risk. Example: Defense contracting company who uses AutoCAD Mobile app to share top-secret designs among their engineers.

2) Albeit spoken by a true, obvious d-bag, the statement "data is the new oil" is a damn fine analogy IMO. Why, you may ask? Because no one gets to mine oil off my property without paying me for usage rights, and my data should be under the same consideration. Not only should mining my data for for-profit purposes require my explicit permission, it should also require fair compensation (fair to me, not Verizon).

Someone who's a better writer than me needs to draft up a letter to Congresscritters that we can all copy/paste to indicate our chagrin.

Because 49% Profit Margins just aren't enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693643)

http://apple.slashdot.org/story/12/08/06/169234/carriers-blame-the-iphone-for-data-caps-and-increased-upgrade-fees
Now they have to try and get that up to 75% by selling your online activity!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...