Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Never Commit a Crime When Your Phone Is Connected to a Wi-Fi Network

As four high school seniors sat around shooting the breeze before graduation, they decided to vandalize their school as a senior prank. Disguised with T-shirts over their faces to evade security cameras, the young men originally set out to spray-paint “Class of 2018” and other graffiti on the school property.

Despite their covered faces, school officials had no problem finding who was responsible: The students’ phones had automatically connected with the school’s Wi-Fi using their unique logins. Their digital fingerprints tipped off administrators to who was on campus just before midnight, and they were soon held accountable for their crime.

The incident also showcases how little we know about what we’re giving away with our digital footprints. These men had clearly given thought about how to stay anonymous — they knew they needed masks to foil the cameras — but they didn’t think the devices in their pockets could give them away.

You can read more in an article by Jane C. Hu in the Slate web site at: https://slate.com/technology/2019/07/glenelg-high-school-graffiti-wifi-login.html.

Related article: The Tracking Device in Your Pocket at https://privacyblog.com/2017/06/06/the-tracking-device-in-your-pocket/

Categories: Offline Privacy & Security, Online Privacy & Security

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