According to a recent study, up to 71% of mobile phone users have not used contract tracing apps, nor trust them because of privacy reasons. Apps developed were also poorly reviewed. Leo says the problem is, that the tech companies focus on privacy first, largely was counter productive to the whole idea of contact tracing. And maybe rightfully so.
Apple was subpoenaed by the Trump Department of Justice to provide information on several key government figures and then was issued a gag order not to talk about it until late May of this year. True to Apple's commitment to privacy, they only provided metadata and no actual personal data.
Carolyn wants to know what's the safest way to get a prepaid VISA card to use on her daughter's iPad and Apple Account. She doesn't want to use her credit card as Apple requires. Leo says she can get them at most stores and they are perfectly safe, but Apple doesn't allow them. There's the Privacy card from privacy.com. You can even set a spending limit. There's also MySudo.com. Does a similar thing.
Amazon Sidewalk will begin operating on June 8th, and it's got the media sounding what Leo calls a scare tactic. What Amazon Sidewalk is, will be a wireless network for things like location tracking of tagged animals and devices and the white paper indicates Sidewalk will be private and secure. It uses Amazon Echo and Alexa to create a neighborhood-wide mesh network for being able to locate your devices.
Doctor Mom calls in to warn that Amazon has turned on their Echo Sidewalk feature by default, and if users want to opt-out of the network, they have to go into the app settings and turn it off. Leo says that some people may feel it's an invasion of privacy, but it's really just a local network, and it doesn't carry any personal information; it just borrows some WiFi from you.
Leo says that Apple's AirTags offer a legitimate privacy concern. A reporter who received a pair for review found that AirTags are scarily good at tracking users ... right on down to knowing the exact address they are at for up to three days. Leo says that Apple does claim there are stalking protections, but if a user forgets to revoke privacy permissions to people they know, it can be a cause for concern.
Wallace wants to know if he needs a VPN or can authorities still track his activity and movements. Leo says that using a VPN will mask your activity unless your VPN keeps track of that activity. With a warrant, they would have to provide that data. As for movements, your cellphone has a GPS, and with a simple request (called a PIN Registry), the authorities can access your location at any given time for a fee. But that is changing as courts recognize that it is a violation of privacy and should require a warrant.
Giving police in the UK too much surveillance power online, the so-called Snooper's Charter passed by British Parliament will enable law enforcement to surveil everyone's online activity. The new power will give police free rein to perform fishing expeditions looking for evidence-based on what apps people use, what sites they visit, and more.
The website "Have I Been Pwned", or HIBP, was created by Microsoft Regional Director Troy Hunt as a free resource for the public to check if their personal data had been compromised by a breach on the internet. You can visit HaveIBeenPwned.com and enter your email address or account password to see if either had been involved in a data breach. The way Troy has built the site ensures visitors can enter their passwords safely and securely.
Ed has an Apple Mac Air that he uses with Tunnel Bear VPN. He wants to do whatever he can to protect himself from identity theft. Leo says that there are several things he can do. First, register his own email domain. That way, anything that he signs up for, will come to him and he can see if that information gets sold. Then he can block the address because he knows it's been sold. Check out MySudo.com. It lets users create a unique email and phone number for signups that aren't related to their own email.