DATA MINING: WHY YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ISN'T PERSONAL ANYMORE


By Joel Stein


Three hours after I gave my name and e-mail address to Michael Fertik, the CEO of Reputation.com, he called me back and read my Social Security number to me. "We had it a couple of hours ago," he said. "I was just too busy to call."
In the past few months, I have been told many more-interesting facts about myself than my Social Security number. I've gathered a bit of the vast amount of data that's being collected both online and off by companies in stealth — taken from the websites I look at, the stuff I buy, my Facebook photos, my warranty cards, my customer-reward cards, the songs I listen to online, surveys I was guilted into filling out and magazines I subscribe to.
Google's Ads Preferences believes I'm a guy interested in politics, Asian food, perfume, celebrity gossip, animated movies and crime but who doesn't care about "books & literature" or "people & society." (So not true.) Yahoo! has me down as a 36-to-45-year-old male who uses a Mac computer and likes hockey, rap, rock, parenting, recipes, clothes and beauty products; it also thinks I live in New York, even though I moved to Los Angeles more than six years ago. Alliance Data, an enormous data-marketing firm in Texas, knows that I'm a 39-year-old college-educated Jewish male who takes in at least $125,000 a year, makes most of his purchases online and spends an average of only $25 per item. Specifically, it knows that on Jan. 24, 2004, I spent $46 on "low-ticket gifts and merchandise" and that on Oct. 10, 2010, I spent $180 on intimate apparel. It knows about more than 100 purchases in between. Alliance also knows I owe $854,000 on a
house built in 1939 that — get this — it thinks has stucco walls. They're mostly wood siding with a little stucco on the bottom! Idiots.


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iPhone Most Resistant to Unauthorized Surveillance Hacks

By Usman


Android phones, a number of Blackberries and smartphones running older Microsoft operating systems are all vulnerable to FinSpy, a spyware from one of the world’s most prominent surveillance companies Gamma Group, but one thing the company is still unable to do is to hack into a typical iPhone.


According to an article by The Washington Post, this is exactly why most surveillance companies hate Apple’s smartphone.


The source reveals that FinSpy spyware can turn a vulnerable smartphone into a potent surveillance device. Users of the spyware are capable of listening to calls on targeted devices, stealing contacts, activating the microphone, tracking your location and more. But for FinSpy to hack into an iPhone, the device must be jailbroken. “No jailbreak, no FinSpy on your iPhone”, shows a leaked Gamma document dated April 2014.


“This is good news for people with iPhones, and perhaps for Apple as well. But at a time of rising concern about government surveillance powers, it’s ironic that a different mobile operating system – Google’s Android – has emerged as the global standard, with a dominant share of the world market. Android phones have more features. They come in more shapes, sizes and colors. And they’re cheaper. But, it’s increasingly clear, they are more vulnerable to the Gammas of the world, and from the police and intelligence services that use their tools.”


The report concludes that users willing to pay a premium for an iPhone or an iPad, perhaps for their design elegance or ease of use, are also getting disk encryption by default, and an OS that even powerful surveillance companies have trouble hacking.


Source: iphoneincanada.ca

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TRANSCRIPT


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our conversation about the National Security Agency. On Sunday, the German publication Der Spiegel revealed new details about secretive hacking—a secretive hacking unit inside the NSA called the Office of Tailored Access Operations, or TAO. The unit was created in 1997 to hack into global communications traffic. Still with us, Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, and Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first broke the story about Edward Snowden. Glenn, can you just talk about the revelations in Der Spiegel?
GLENN GREENWALD: Sure. I think everybody knows by now, or at least I hope they do after the last seven months reporting, that the goal of the NSA really is the elimination of privacy worldwide—not hyperbole, not metaphor, that’s literally their goal, is to make sure that all human communications that take place electronically are collected and then stored by the

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