privacy

Understand That Companies Can Monitor Traffic Under Their Wi-Fi

When you're working for a company and using their internet, be mindful that the company is generally allowed to monitor your online activity. This includes your desktops, laptops, and cell phones that use their resources. If you are using a VPN, they'll be unable to monitor the sites but can still see that you're using a virtual private network. There may be a policy in the employee handbook regarding internet usage, but the safest thing is to just not surf sketchy websites or NSFW content on the job.

Is Contact Tracing a Violation of Privacy?

Contact Tracing

Episode 1823

Tom from Riverside, CA

Tom is concerned about contract tracing through his mobile phone. Leo says that he has no problem with contact tracing, but what Apple and Google use through mobile devices doesn't really work. But they're also not turned on by default, they don't do anything unless a contract tracing app is downloaded and installed. So don't worry. They don't invade privacy.

Can My Company Monitor My Internet Activity?

VPN

Episode 1823

Lisa from Los Angeles, CA

Lisa hears that her company Wi-Fi is monitored. Leo says that her company has a legal right to monitor her online activity, so it's not private. But if she can use a VPN or is on an encrypted site, they can't see specific data, they can just know she's online. Be sure to be familiar with company policy when using the company's internet network and what potential consequences are. Can they put software on her phone or laptop? Leo says only if they own it. They don't have the legal right to put it on her personal property. 

Is Google Listening in on My Phone and Sending Me Ads?

Google

Episode 1819

Jerry from Hatfield, PA

Jerry wants to know how he keeps getting ads on things he was talking about that day. Are they listening to everything he says? But they could be listening for keywords and making those suggestions. Leo says it's not impossible to do, but it would be very hard to do it unnoticed. So Leo doesn't think so. More likely that people around Jerry are searching for similar things and Google is just making a location-based suggestion based on everyone in Jerry's area. We're already giving Google all the information they need without listening in on our conversations. 

Can Apple's NCMEC Technology be Misused by Governments?

Apple

Episode 1818

Joe from Brooklyn, NY

Joe is concerned that if Apple's new fingerprint photo technology is used today to find child porn, how long before other governments use it to root out gay people in Saudi Arabia, or what if the technology is used to out gay kids to their parents? It's definitely a problem. Leo says that's a perfect example of why this technology is problematic. 

Are My Photos & Privacy Going to Be Violated by Apple’s New Child Safety Initiative?

Child Safety

Episode 1817

Tom from Riverside, CA

Tom is worried about Apple invading his privacy with their new monitoring scheme. Sure, it's for the kids, but is it a slippery slope? Leo says it's important to really understand what Apple will be doing. The software won't be looking at photos, but at the digital "fingerprints" of each photo, and then comparing it to a database of known exploited child images. So, his privacy should still be protected. But he can always opt out of iCloud if it concerns him. But if he uses Facebook or Google Photos, they're doing it too.