I am going for a walk. Following the government’s orders, I must stay within 100 meters of my house. A quick calculation, with some help from Google, shows that I can walk a circle with a circumference of 2πR meters. That works out at around 600 meters, not too bad if I don’t mind walking round in circles to reach my target. But first I must take the necessary precautions. I find a small bag, some aluminium foil and a roll of masking tape, everything I need to make a mask for ….… my smartphone.
The Times of Israel tells us that ‘Spies are already in your phone’.
Israel’s government has permitted “an extreme and massive human rights breach, allowing a secret service which is the most non-transparent body you can imagine, to gain access to all the digital personal data of Israeli citizens.” (TOI 6/4/20)
Today’s smartphones are often smarter than their owners. With most of the country unable to move without their ‘phone in their hand, it is not clear just who owns who. And the nature of the information that can be collected from your ‘phone is truly disturbing.
Geolocation data, that tracks the movements of a cellphone user, can collect extremely personal details of their life. Who would want the government to know if they are having an affair, or looking for advice on substance abuse or mental health problems? And other sensors that collect information that we willingly up include:
Ambient Light Sensor
Heart Rate Sensor
So, when you say that you are going to your health club, but deviate to visit that special friend that even your wife doesn’t know about, you should be aware that your Smartphone’s Accelerometer has noted your turn from the usual route, its gyroscope sees that you are now lying flat and the GPS knows exactly where you are. The Light Sensor knows you have turned the lights off and the Thermometer and Heart Rate Sensors record significant increases. The Smartphone will pass all this information to the government’s secret service who will run it through an algorithm to determine the most likely activity that would produce these results.
Even if you lie down, turn the lights off and let your heart rate surge, when you check your bank account or watch the evening news, the government might get the wrong idea as to your activities.
So think twice before you take your smartphone for a walk; it’s the smart thing to do.