by Andrew Garton
Some of your devices, favourite software and even your webcam are helping people you can’t see get to know you and what you do in ways that are just plain creepy!
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) thinks so too.
In a recent newsletter (EFFector Vol. 24, No. 1 January 3, 2011), the EFF wrote about Traitorware. This is “technology that acts behind your back to betray your privacy…” Apple are big on Traitorware and it’s wanting to patent their flavour of spyware. Sony have been the invisible monkey on our backs since 2005.
EFF describes that “digital cameras are embedding metadata into photos, printers are incorporating a secret code into every page they print, and Apple’s creepy patent could be used to record your voice, take a picture of your location, or even record your heartbeat.”
Private use aside, if you working on any social change issue and you’re not acting to protect your data you leave yourself, your sources and your cause vulnerable. If governments can influence private enterprise (Amazon, PayPal, Bank of America to name a few) to shut down services to Wikileaks imagine what they can do to you.
What can I do?
You can start by learning how our personal and professional data can be used. Find out more on Don’t Track Us and why using Google search may not be such a cool thing. Scroll to the bottom of that page for a list of essential tools you can use.
The most important thing we can do is to be informed and not be slack. Don’t get paranoid, get smart.