How we got here. The bigger mobile data scandal

posted by Brian Mudd -

How we got here. The bigger mobile data scandal 

Bottom Line: The Cambridge scandal ripped the cover off of a topic that'd long been hidden. How easy it was for very personal information to be shared across platforms. As I mentioned at the time it was just the tip of the iceberg. Since those initial revelations there have been several smaller scandals with data – including subsequent issues with Facebook partners. App policies have also changed for Apple and Google but there's still a lot more we don't know.  

I've heard, as recently as within the past two weeks, that voice conversation has led to targeted advertising on mobile. To date companies have stated they don't record voice for advertising purposes but A) I'm not sure I buy that answer & B) That's not to say work arounds haven't been achieved to use voice data. Creepy thought isn't it? 

On Sunday the New York Times reported on data sharing deals with Facebook and Apple, Samsung and Microsoft demonstrating that your Facebook profile data was being shared with those other tech companies. That's not a huge surprise even if it wasn't your intent for Apple & Co. To have your education, religion, work, family info, etc. When you populated it on Facebook. What's notable though is the language and the times in which these deals were struck.  

Think about the change in mobile technology over the past decade. How much more is possible today as opposed to years ago? Imagine have the same security software on a computer today (as you did ten years ago). Would that be secure? What forensic analysts are finding is that old partnerships, without updating, with new technology is a combination for Pandora's box. I've conducted a couple of related experiments that seem to suggest that at a minimum texting information might use scanned data for advertising purposes (suggesting a planned trip and without searching for it on an iPhone having targeting advertising displayed in third party apps). Wittingly or unwittingly I believe there's an element of scanned text and potential voice data that's being shared across platforms/companies. Test it out for yourself sometime. In the meantime, and I'm not a conspiracy theorist – I believe it's happening and the only question is how pervasive it is and where that info is going. 

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