quantifiable self

Mobile Metadata, Google Dorking Expose Your Secret Life

Mobile Metadata, Google Dorking Expose Your Secret Life

A study of more than 500 mobile phone owners by researchers at Stanford University suggests that call records and other “metadata” stored on our phones can easily be used to infer a wealth of sensitive information about phone owners – laying bare details of private lives that many would prefer to keep hidden. The findings of the study were outlined in a blog post by researcher Patrick Mutchler on Wednesday. Researchers concluded that the data collected from the phones was very accurate in painting a picture of the phone’s owner, including their work, social interests and medical conditions. That was true even across a small sample population monitored for just a few weeks. In the study, researchers placed an application, MetaPhone, on Android smartphones belonging to 546 participants and collected a wide range of information including device logs, social network information and call records for analysis. In all, researchers collected calls […]

In Next Phase: Web Tracking Cookies Grow Legs

In Next Phase: Web Tracking Cookies Grow Legs

It’s easy to focus on the low hanging fruit in the Internet of Things revolution – the Internet-connected thermostats, connected vehicles and lawn sprinklers that you can manage from the Web.   But the biggest changes are yet to come – as powerful, wearable technology, remote sensors and powerful data analytics combine to map and record our every waking (and sleeping) moment. I got a glimpse of that reading this article over at the blog StreetFightMag.com, a site that concentrates on the hyperlocal marketing sector. Hyperlocal was a big thing about six or seven years ago, as online media outfit (and their advertisers) decided that consumers were losing interest in the thin gruel that online mass-media provided, but remained intensely interested in local news and affairs. Alas, capitalizing on the relatively small-scale opportunities in ‘hyperlocal’ proved harder than anyone thought, as this week’s decision to shutter AOL’s remaining Patch web […]

How Connected Consumer Devices Fail The Security Test

How Connected Consumer Devices Fail The Security Test

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS | MoreThe Internet of Things leverages the same, basic infrastructure as the original Internet – making use of protocols like TCP/IP, HTTP, Telnet and FTP. But the devices look and act very differently from traditional PCs, desktops and servers. Many IoT devices run embedded operating systems or variants of the open source Linux OS. And many are low-power and many are single function: designed to simply listen and observe their environment, then report that data to a central (cloud based repository).   But IoT devices are still susceptible to hacking and other malicious attacks, including brute force attacks to crack user names and passwords, injection attacks, man in the middle attacks and other types of spoofing.  Despite almost 20 years experience dealing with such threats in the context of PCs and traditional enterprise networks, however, too many connected devices that […]

Identity Management’s Next Frontier: The Interstate

Identity Management’s Next Frontier: The Interstate

Factory-installed and even aftermarket identity management applications may soon be standard components on automobiles, as the federal government looks for ways to leverage automation and collision avoidance technology to make the country’s highways and roadways safer.   That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which finds that vehicle to vehicle communications are poised to take off, but that significant security and privacy challenges must first be met, identity management top among them. The report, GAO 14-13 (PDF available here) takes the measure of what the GAO calls “Intelligent Transportation Systems,” including vehicle-to-vehicle (or V2V) technology. The GAO found that V2V technology that allows automobiles to communicate with each other in ways that can prevent accidents has advanced considerably in recent years. Automakers, working with the Department of Transportation, are testing the technology in real-world scenarios. However, the deployment of V2V technologies faces a number […]

Microsoft Tests Glass Competitor. But Do Wearables Threaten Privacy, Social Norms?

Microsoft Tests Glass Competitor. But Do Wearables Threaten Privacy, Social Norms?

Forbes has a really interesting article a couple of days back that posited the huge dislocations caused by wearable technology – including front-on challenges to social norms that are thousands of years in the making and contemporary notions of privacy. The applications for wearable technology like Google Glass are too numerous to mention. Just a few include “heads up” displays for surgeons in the operating room. Teachers (or their students) could benefit from having notes displayed in their field of vision, rather than having to resort to printed notes or the (dreaded) Powerpoint slide. But the devil is in the details of the wearable technology, Forbes argues. Unlike external devices – pagers, mobile phones, smart phones – wearable tech is more intimately connected to ourselves: in constant contact with our bodies and notifying us with vibrations and sounds in ways that it may be difficult to ignore, Forbes argues. Indelicately implemented, […]