privacy

Can the iPhone Show Me where I am?

Google & Apple Maps

Episode 1587

Mark from Reno, NV

Mark needs to prove where he was to someone. Leo says that you can see where you've been by going to google.com/dashboard. Click on maps, then more, then timeline. If it's enabled in the application settings, you will see a history of where your phone has checked in within the network. It should go as far back as 18 months at least. If that isn't good enough, you could contact your carrier as they will have that information available. But that information is only available to law enforcement as they can get access to that information without a warrant. So using Google is your best bet.

Apple Cracks Down on Apps that Fight Phone Addiction

 Our Pact

Episode 1587

Relying on a policy that no app can duplicate a function that Apple offers, Apple has removed 11 of 17 screentime and parental control apps.  Some app makers have been shut down. OurPact, with 3 million downloads, was pulled, eliminating 80% of the developer's income. Kids Locks and Custodio have filed a complaint with the EU as a result. But Apple claims it's a privacy issue as the apps take too much personal information. Or are they just protecting their bread and butter? Leo says it depends on how you feel about it.

Use Reputable Apps to Scan Sensitive Documents

If you are scanning important, sensitive documents with your cell phone and sending those files over the internet, make sure to use an app from a reputable, reliable company. Do not use apps from relatively unknown developers, where images could potentially be intercepted. On Android phones, use Google Drive's scan option. On iPhone, open the Notes app and hit the + sign, then tap the "Scan Documents" option. Evernote Scannable is also a legitimate high-quality (free) scanning app.

Is Google Recording our Duo Video Calls?

Duo

Episode 1582

Christie from Mission Viejo, CA

Christie wonders about Google Duo, the Google version of Facetime. Could Google be recording those? Rich says not likely. The video and audio are encrypted, so that would be difficult to do. However, the metadata is fair game. Who she called, how long she was on the call, where she is, etc. But the reality is, free services still cost "something", so it comes with the expectation that some monetization is going on to pay for it.

Are my Photos Being Looked at on Free Services and Being Monetized?

FB

Episode 1582

Mitch from Irvine, CA

Mitch is concerned that uploading photos to a free service could be a privacy issue. What are the services doing with those pictures? Rich says that if consumers are using a free service, it's not surprising that they will look at the images and then suggest ads based on those images. It's all probably automated, which is why we get ads that are so tuned in. 

Can he opt out of it? Rich says only if he gets rid of Facebook. Rich says he should only upload photos he wants to share to those services.

Is Alexa Listening in on our Drop-ins and Phone Calls?

Alexa

Episode 1582

Sheldon from Sherman Oaks, California

Sheldon hears about Amazon's listening in on commands with Alexa, but are they recording when users do a drop-in, or a phone call? Rich says that no, the system is designed to stop listening once the command is executed. Besides, if they were, that could kill the entire service if word got out that Amazon was recording the entire call/drop-in. 

But an easy way to test it is to make a call, and then give Alexa a command, If it reacts, then it's not recording. If it doesn't ... well, there would be an interesting answer from Amazon about that.

Is Facebook Eavesdropping on Me?

Facebook

Episode 1580

Kyle from Columbus, OH

Kyle is convinced Facebook is listening in on his conversations because he'll get ads showing up that is strangely related to conversations he's had within the last few hours. Are they listening in on him? Leo says that would a huge amount of data for a billion and a half users to process and then generate ads for. So it's likely not what Kyle think it is. The reality is, that Facebook already knows so much about him, that they don't really need to listen in on him. 

Examine the Layout of a URL to Check its Legitimacy

When you want to find out if you should stay away from typing in a suspicious and possibly fake web address, check the URL's TLD (top-level domain) which should imply whether the site is legitimate or not. For example, if a web address reads Google(dot)com/blahblah then it is a legitimate Google page. However, bad guys can spoof Google and create an address like Google(dot)badguy(dot)com which may easily deceive many victims at first glance. Always be cautious of deceptive URLs and links that can infiltrate your device if clicked.

Mark Zuckerberg Says Facebook to Focus on Privacy

FB

Episode 1572

In a new announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is moving towards a more privacy-focused experience, including encryption, private groups, and more. Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook doesn't have a reputation for security and privacy, and they plan to change all that. With sharing on Facebook going down by 25%, especially with younger users, Zuckerberg says that the social media network is going to move from a town square, to your own living room. It's a serious PIVOT.