These Tracking Devices Can Put You in Danger

What happens when you keep giving in a relationship for free? The partner you are giving to starts taking you for granted. This is the current situation we Americans are experiencing. Do you notice how most of our devices can track us? Recently, we came across the NSA slides of Snowden that showed how government is collecting our information. He mentioned that one single international call we make can put us in grave danger. This probably does not apply to all of us, for not every American makes international calls.

Also not all of us have anything to do with criminal activities. But how the information will be used in the future is what makes many experts worried. They have created a hypothetical government activity to show how one who is not doing anything wrong can still be targeted as potential future criminal. We will have a look at this shortly. But before that it is important for especially girls to know how you may fall prey to stalkers and other villains through the devices you are currently using.

Cars: Are you at home or out of town? Believe it or not, a stalker can find out about your whereabouts just by using one of the websites of insurance companies and yes, it is free. All they need to do is have some of your addresses recored. They can enter each in the box provided for retrieving auto insurance quotes. Below is an example this.
I have been thinking for a while to change our car insurance. For getting an auto insurance quote, I went to Progressive insurance site where I was told to enter my name and address. I followed the instruction and after going to the next page I was surprised. What you are seeing in the above picture was the result. The address I entered was of our bay area house. All papers of this car have our Sacramento house address. But above everything else, this is my sister's car that I probably drove only twice in the bay area this year. In no way, I am associated with it. The insurance company found this car in that garage by using the address I gave them. What about my car? They could not track it because it is from the 90s and thus, has not come with a tracking device. But don't you think this breach of privacy? Think about the immense troubles this kind of feature can bring in your life. Even a sci fi burgler can take advantage of this feature for targeted burglery.

Smartphones: Smartphones have always been controversial. It is noted that pictures picture taken with them are downloaded to a server with date and location stamp without the consent of the users. To some, it is still not a thing of headache. But what if the smartphone camera itself turns into a spying robot United States Naval Surface Warfare Center and University of India have designed a malware that can make it possible. This little malicious guy works on phones running on Android 2.3 and higher. It takes the pictures and then sends them to a database that an attacker then can use to create 3d model of the environment of the phone user. The scientists have said that this can help in burglery and theft. For the youth, however, this is not going to be the main problem. A person can create such malware to fill up his porn site with free porn movies. Hopefully, you are getting what I am saying. Stalking is still much easier without any malware. Facebook pictures sent directly from smartphones are best friends of stalkers. All they need to do is get their exif data. Watch the video below to see how smartphone pictures ruin people's privacy.

Find My Friends: This is an app made for iPhone and iPad users. Through global positioning system (GPS), it can track the location of user's device and friends. But to make it track friends, the user must first send invitation to them. The app is quite controversial. In fact, someone used it to catch his cheating wife. When explaining it he mentioned that he installed it on her phone secretly. Just think about a friend turned foe doing something similar for revenge purpose. 

Data collected by the government
For the time being, NSA has tried to give explanation for the data collected is that this is a part of war on terrorism. By tracking phone numbers and emails, they want to prevent future terrorist attacks. But what if someday they start to use the data to target American citizens for things they never did? Watch the video to see how this may unfold.

This video is made by American Civil Liberties Union. One big problem with the story being used in it is that it depends too much on guesses. If the law enforcement agencies want, they can make the work faster by using the credit cards of the targeted people. All they have to know is what they are buying. We may think that this is not going to happen. So let's go back to credit cards. What happens when you end up accumulating debt? It gets reported to credit bureaus. When you go to apply for a job your employer looks into your credit history and when they find out that some 4 or 5 years ago, you ended up with debt they conclude that you are irresponsible with finance. Similarly, if government someday decides to use the data to find potential criminals your same day three trips to liquor stores may turn you into an irresponsible drunk driver. That is why, researchers say that "I have nothing to hide" is something that we should stop saying. The more power you give to an entity the weaker you become. 

I live in a gated community and I actually see it everyday. Some years ago, in our park someone was stabbed. During that same time, mail theft was apparent. We asked home owner association president to do something about it. The solution turned out to be security guard. We agreed to increase the HOA fee for it. Now we don't have those crimes anymore. The guard is still here and to make sure that he is fully utilized, HOA has asked him to catch any of us showing what they tag as bad behavior. Now a simple parking mistake gets us into trouble. The guard even makes a big issue out of how children play in the play. Do you understand what is happening here? For security, we gave away our freedom. It can't be undone. We could have easily taken a different approach to fight mail theft and other crimes. We could have transferred the mailboxes to a more visible area. We could have installed video camera in our houses separately for monitoring our yards. This simple gated community scenario is not different from the national level surveillance program. Remember our government believes in getting value for every dollar spent. So if there is no real project NSA government can force them to keep eye on the random people who think "I have nothing to hide".

Update: What is described above is already happening. It came to my attention that Michigan's Child Protective services agency has already made a database of child abusers. These child abusers are parents who have never been reported. They have no idea that they have been wrongfully tagged. What makes the situation worse is that getting the names removed from this database is extremely tough. 

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