Monday, June 12, 2017

Everybody is spying on you

Don't look now but you're being watched.

Your Samsung phone is a Peeping Tom. Samsung phones use technology which can spy on what you’re reading and watching online – and monitor emails in your inbox. The phones switch onto spy mode after they are alerted by a “beacon” often embedded in web pages or signals hidden in online adverts.

Look for the yellow dots.
Be careful what you print. On 3 June, FBI agents arrived at the house of government contractor Reality Winner. They had spent two days investigating a top secret document allegedly leaked to the press. To track down Winner, agents studied copies of the document provided by an online news site. They discovered  yellow dots in a roughly rectangular pattern repeated throughout the page. They seemed to reveal the exact date and time that the pages  were printed: 06:20 on 9 May, 2017. The dots also encode a serial number for the printer.

Can your refrigerator keep a secret? Your front door, television and child’s doll could all be spying on you. The internet of things, everyday objects connected to the web, can send and receive data and appliances have the power to gain control and track your behaviour and movements. At least 40 per cent of Australian homes now have at least one internet of things device and they are disguised as normal appliances. They can be fridges, kettles or even window blinds.

Just smile all the time. Facebook wants to spy on people through their smartphone camera and analyse the emotions on their face. It has patented technology that monitors users' reactions to the posts, messages and adverts they see on its app. Patent documents contain illustrations showing a person holding a smartphone with a camera taking a picture from which “emotion characteristics” like smiling or frowning are detected. If the person appears to like what they’re seeing, Facebook could place more of the same type of content in front of them.

You can't hide in the closet. Scientists have found a way to photograph people in 3D through walls using Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi can pass through walls. German scientists have found a way to exploit this property to take holograms, or 3D photographs, of objects inside a room — from outside it.

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