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How Ads on Your Phone Can Aid Government Surveillance

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Aug 9, 2001
Technology embedded in our phones and computers to serve up ads can also end up serving government surveillance.

Information from mobile-phone apps and advertising networks paints a richly detailed portrait of the online activities of billions of devices. The logs and technical information generate valuable cybersecurity data that governments around the world are eager to obtain. When combined with classified data in government hands, it can yield an even more detailed picture of an individual’s behaviors both online and in the real world. A recent U.S. intelligence-community report said the data collected by consumer technologies expose sensitive information on everyone “in a way that far fewer Americans seem to understand, and even fewer of them can avoid.”

The Wall Street Journal identified a network of brokers and advertising exchanges whose data was flowing from apps to Defense Department and intelligence agencies through a company called Near Intelligence.


maximus otter
Yep, we can throw that on the table with the rest of the crap going on, maybe Putin would be doing us all a favour if he nuked us
The vast majority of people never question why a lot of apps are free. It's the persons data that the makers are after.
I don't have a smart phone and have an ad blocker (current laptop shows 270,000 ads blocked). I guess that alone will tell someone something. eBay accused me of being a bot because I spend only a minute or two flicking through lists of what I'm looking for. I wonder whether a largely off line precense is the reason I get targeted by authorities to complete forms (which I never do).I hope that makes them paranoid about what I'm up to, which is in fact nothing:)
Watch the American documentary series the first 48, you would be very surprised at what information they can get hold of, it's surprised me

But as one policeman of my acquaintance told me, it's why there are very few unsolved murders nowadays, just having the location data even if it's anonymous the scenario: Mr Jones is found dead at 3 Acacia Avenue, there are ten phones pinging off a mobile phone tower nearby, you've got ten suspects furthermore they can track their movement get the call records etc

And if you add in the amount of cameras on the roads and motorways, even a short drive will get your car photographed

It's all a bit creepy and a totalitarian state could make good use of it all, but it helps catch criminals so everyone is happy