How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location

According to an article By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries and Natasha Singer in the New York Times:

“At least 75 companies receive people’s precise location data from hundreds of apps whose users enable location services for benefits such as weather alerts, The New York Times found. The companies use, store or sell the information to help advertisers, investment firms and others.”

You can read more, including instructions on how to stop Android phones and Apple iPhones from collecting and giving this information away at: https://nyti.ms/2C1ZxHX.

Connecticut Court Case Highlights the Security and Privacy of the Zello Walkie-Talkie App for Cell Phones

I have written about Zello several times. See https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+zello&t=h_&ia=web for a list of my past articles about this very useful and very private cell phone app. Now it seems that a court in Connecticut has learned how private the app really is.

Various laws require police officers to turn over their personal phone records, if subpoenaed and if the phones were used for official police business. New London police officers Todd Lynch, Jeremy Zelinski, Joseph Pelchat and Ryan Griffin used their personal cell phones during a narcotics investigation and, with the help of the communications provided by Zello, were able to arrest the career criminal who is believed to be a drug dealer.

The officers brought their phones to Superior Court on Friday to show to Judge Hunchu Kwak, if necessary. The issues of the case had created some publicity earlier so Connecticut State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan also attended the hearing to learn first-hand about the issues.

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Your iPhone Reportedly can be Hacked by a $3,900 Device

Want to see what your friend (or lover or enemy or boss or anyone else) has stored in his or her iPhone? For only $3,900 US, you can find out. Oh yes, you will have to take possession of the iPhone for at least a few minutes, maybe for a few hours.

The company selling the device, called DriveSavers, is also using strict identification protocols, in some cases requesting documents that include death certificates, probate documents, court documents, and more. According to the DriveSavers web site, “This service is only available to the actual owner of the data on the locked smartphone, or to an owner’s next of kin in the event that the owner has passed away.”

DriveSavers says that most people use the service to access the data from the device of a deceased loved one. That may be true for MOST people but what about the others?

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What Is Google Project Fi, and Is It Worth It?

Yesterday, I wrote an article entitled Google Adds Always-On VPN to its Project Fi Cellular Service. See http://bit.ly/2Pqlg4L to read the article.

A couple of readers of this web site wrote and asked, “What is Google Fi?”

In short, Google Fi is the best and cheapest cell phone service available for many people, but perhaps not for everyone. It fits my needs well. It may or may not fit your needs, however.

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Google Adds Always-On VPN to its Project Fi Cellular Service

I have been an enthusiastic customer of Google’s Project Fi cell phone service for more than three years. I also always have a VPN (that I pay for) running all the time in my cell phone. You can read my past articles about the Project Fi cellular service by starting at: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+%22project+fi%22&t=h_&ia=web.

I received a pleasant surprise today when I learned that Google is now offering a FREE VPN to all users of the Google Fi cell service and the VPN will be enabled all the time, whether connected by a cellular service connection or a Wi-Fi connection.

All phone calls, text messages, and data will be encrypted for privacy purposes all the time. The always-on VPN will need to be turned on in the Project Fi settings, where the feature is called “Enhanced Network” and labeled a “beta.”

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Police Decrypt 258,000 Messages After Breaking IronChat Crypto App

Your public servants at work: spying on you.

Police in the Netherlands said they decrypted more than 258,000 messages sent using IronChat, an app billed as providing end-to-end encryption that was endorsed by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. In a statement published Tuesday, Dutch police said officers achieved a “breakthrough in the interception and decryption of encrypted communication” in an investigation into money laundering. The encrypted messages, according to the statement, were sent by IronChat, an app that runs on a device that cost thousands of dollars and could send only text messages.

“Criminals thought they could safely communicate with so-called crypto phones which used the application IronChat,” Tuesday’s statement said. “Police experts in the east of the Netherlands have succeeded in gaining access to this communication. As a result, the police have been able to watch live the communication between criminals for some time.”

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Other Governments are Listening to the Cell Phone Calls of Heads of State and Maybe to Your Calls as Well

From Bruce Schneier’s excellent Schneier on Security blog:

“Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that the Russians and the Chinese were eavesdropping on President Donald Trump’s personal cell phone and using the information gleaned to better influence his behavior. This should surprise no one. Security experts have been talking about the potential security vulnerabilities in Trump’s cell phone use since he became president. And President Barack Obama bristled at — but acquiesced to — the security rules prohibiting him from using a “regular” cell phone throughout his presidency.

“Three broader questions obviously emerge from the story. Who else is listening in on Trump’s cell phone calls? What about the cell phones of other world leaders and senior government officials? And — most personal of all — what about my cell phone calls?”

You can read Bruce’s article at: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/10/cell_phone_secu_1.html.

Later in the article, Bruce states, “Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to improve the security of your cell phone.

I partially disagree.

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