The amount of espionage in the hardware industry that we love to carry in our pants pockets and almost never compromise on is so great that it’s hard to hide our astonishment.
This time, the case’s voices rose as the US Federal Trade Commission sued Kochava. He was accused of selling geolocation data from hundreds of millions of mobile devices. Consumers often don’t even realize that this type of information is being sold, and their daily activity is basically tracked at every step.
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The scandal relates to the tightening of abortion law in the United States, and the data sold by Kochava could be used to track consumers, for example in the context of identifying mobile devices that visited reproductive health facilities.
Using maps in applications, conducting searches and conducting online conversations are very popular methods of monitoring, which we are partly actively involved in. However, mobile devices share more data. They collect information about who we contacted, when it happened, how long the conversation lasted and what kind of device was used.
Phones don’t just collect data about Internet search engines
Researchers at Stanford University say phone call records and publicly available information can reveal sensitive data, including heart problems and even inappropriate monitoring of their condition by other devices. Sometimes it is not even necessary to eavesdrop, because it is enough to know who was calling to whom and when.
Going forward, VoIP headers can reveal more than just connection details records. When making an encrypted voice call over the Internet, the content may be encrypted, but the header information may reveal some of the spoken words. In addition, smartphones are equipped with many sensors.
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In order for the phone to display the information correctly, it includes a gyroscope and accelerometer. It has a power sensor to preserve battery life, while a magnetometer helps determine direction. By turning off the GPS, we would in theory make it impossible to track our location, but the gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer data could still track the paths we follow.
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