I would not believe this, had I not witnessed it with my own eyes. Of course, the caricatures have been changed to protect the confessed. In reality, no cartoon could do the actual characters justice. (Pardon the pun.) What it proves is that the right to remain silent is, perhaps, the greatest legal tool in the entire box.
It's rare that I clap for [watch] TV commercials. But Verizon just took AT&T to the mat -- er, map.
Technically, this is off-topic, but I think I can apply a little broad discretion when it comes to bad data -- That is, the data that every U.S. cell phone company uses to claim to be the best.
I know I spend a lot of time picking on Apple -- especially the the iPhone. But when something falls just short of great, it leaves room for criticism. That, however, doesn't describe Apple's choice of service partner. Verizon customers love their coverage. T-Mobile customers love their customer service. Sprint customers love their features (and free 3G roaming to Verizon). AT&T customers love their iPhones, and tolerate their service. Now Verizon is taking them to the map.
Watch and see what I mean.
Hey, Verizon customers -- ever get tired of having "The Network" following you around everywhere you go? It's such a hassle, especially when you have to use the restroom, or spend some "alone time" with your significant other.
The news was released on Joey Hess' blog. Hess, a programmer, noticed a log file on his Palm prē was being sent to http://ps.palmws.com on a daily basis. Among other things, the log file contained his GPS coordinates (in this case, his home address) in the form of longitude and latitude. This information is derived from the built in GPS common to most cellular telephones on the market today.
In addition to his location, the log file also recorded the name of every application he used, when, and for how long.
Although there has been some speculation that this information is only recorded when the device crashes, Hess has shown that, even though Palm's WebOS makes a record of device crashes, this is supplemental to the daily GPS location, and usage-tracking that is sent to Palm every day. (All of which, for now, he has disabled by hacking a file in the operating system.)
Palm's response to this shocking revelation?
"When you use location based services, we will collect, transmit, maintain, process, and use your location and usage data (including both real time geographic information and information that can be used to approximate location) in order to provide location based and related services, and to enhance your device experience."
This policy specifically addresses use of this data when "provid[ing] location-based and related services". That does not explain why they are collecting and transmitting GPS data as part of a daily log.
Frankly, I have some issues with Palm's right to this data, even if it has been disclosed. Although, arguably, Sprint has to process this data through their network to provide service to it's customers, Palm sells hardware and software, not network service, or even traffic and directions. As an individual who collects and analyzes similar data for criminal cases on a daily basis, I see no justification in Palm's Policy, or in terms of the way the equipment operates, for the transmittal of location-specific data to their company.
Read more @ InformationWeek (http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/privacy/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=219300120)
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John Hargrave likes to make a point--LOUD and CLEAR. With a megaphone, in this case. He wants to know why ANYONE can get access to ANYONE's private cellular telephone account records. (See this Washington Post article for more information.) So, he didn't just ask anyone. He signed up for a web site offering "free cellphone records", and used the data he gathered to pay a visit to the home of Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg--with a megaphone.
Verizon, as you may recall, is the company that once offered it's customers 45 days to opt-out of "agreeing" to let them share personal account data with "affiliates, agents and parent companies".
Check it out:
I'm going to be unabashedly honest: "Eye in the Sky", by the Alan Parsons Project (1982), never made much sense to me. Sure, I understand it's an homage to George Orwell's, "1984", but the lyrics make no sense to me. You know what else makes no sense to me? Mayor R. Rex Parris' project: an "eye in the sky"--a 24/7 arial survellance system to be flown by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department 5000 feet above Lancaster, California.
Parris says, on the city's web site:
“This technology is nothing short of remarkable,” said Parris. “I entered my address, and within seconds the camera had focused so well on my property that I was able to see both of my dogs and identify which was which – all from five miles away. This type of technology has the potential to drive criminals completely out of our community.”
My guess is he'll drive some of the citizens out as well--if they don't drive him out first.