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Category Archives: Wireless Web

How Retail’s Secret Surveillance Tracks Your Every Move

The New York Times: “Imagine you are shopping in your favorite grocery store. As you approach the dairy aisle, you are sent a push notification in your phone: “10 percent off your favorite yogurt! Click here to redeem your coupon.” You considered buying yogurt on your last trip to the store, but you decided against it. How did your phone know? Your smartphone was tracking you. The grocery store got your location data and paid a shadowy group of marketers to use that information to target you with ads. Recent reports have noted how companies use data gathered from cell towers, ambient Wi-Fi, and GPS. But the location data industry has a much more precise, and unobtrusive, tool: Bluetooth beacons. These beacons are small, inobtrusive electronic devices that are hidden throughout the grocery store; an app on your phone that communicates with them informed the company not only that you had entered the building, but that you had lingered for two minutes in front of the low-fat Chobanis…

…To protect yourself from beacons in the short term, you can delete any apps that may be spying on you — including apps from retailers — and shut off location services and Bluetooth where they are not needed. You can also follow The Times’s guide on how to stop apps from tracking your location. For Android users, the F-Droid app store hosts free and open- source apps that do not spy on users with hidden trackers…”

Airports Where You’re Most Likely To Be Hacked

Fortune: “Public Wi-Fi in airports might seen like a godsend to business travelers and weary parents. But it’s often a fast lane for hackers to access your information. Cloud security company Coronet has compiled a list of America’s most cyber insecure airports. And nowhere is worse than San Diego. Coronet looked at data from the… Continue Reading

Little Things and Big Challenges: Information Privacy and the Internet of Things

Brill, Hillary and Jones, Scott, Little Things and Big Challenges: Information Privacy and the Internet of Things (June 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3188958 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3188958 “The Internet of Things (IoT), the wireless connection of devices to ourselves, each other, and the Internet, has transformed our lives and our society in unimaginable ways. Today, billions… Continue Reading

How to Keep Google Home and Chromecast From Giving Hackers Your Location

Krebs on Security: “…Craig Young, a researcher with security firm Tripwire, said he discovered an authentication weakness that leaks incredibly accurate location information about users of both the smart speaker and home assistant Google Home, and Chromecast, a small electronic device that makes it simple to stream TV shows, movies and games to a digital… Continue Reading

Google providing WiFi and Chromebooks to school buses in rural areas

The Verge: “Google today announced an expansion of its Rolling Study Halls initiative to over 16 additional school districts, giving “thousands” of students access to Wi-Fi and Chromebooks on their buses. Google has piloted the program in North Carolina and South Carolina over the last couple years, focusing its efforts on rural communities where some… Continue Reading

NYT – When You’re a ‘Digital Nomad,’ the World Is Your Office

When You’re a ‘Digital Nomad,’ the World Is Your Office – NY Times Magazine: “A global network of live-work spaces is springing up to serve this new breed of millennial wanderer.” “At the time of the inn’s construction, the surrounding area was known as Riverside; like the rest of the city, it became a hotbed… Continue Reading

Review – best free anonymous browsing software for Windows

TechRadarPro: “If you’re looking for the best free privacy software to help you browse the web anonymously, then you’ve come to the right place, as we’ve listed the top choices to help protect your privacy. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why you’d like to use privacy software to browse anonymously.  As well as preventing… Continue Reading

How public libraries are reinventing themselves for the 21st century

Coding workshops. 3D printers. And books. Far from extinct, today’s public library is about access to technology as much as to knowledge: “On any given day, in one of the world’s busiest urban library systems, 50,000 people come through the doors of the Toronto Public Library’s 100 branches, while 85,000 make an online visit. The… Continue Reading

Paper – Enabling Competition & Innovation on a City Fiber Network

Enabling Competition & Innovation on a City Fiber Network October 5, 2017. Download from DASH – Download from SSRN. Authored by Paddy Leerssen and David Talbot “This case study of Ammon, Idaho’s city-run fiber-optic network describes an unusual strategy for encouraging retail Internet service competition and innovation. Cities, towns and counties seeking to help their… Continue Reading

Thomson Reuters Podcast – Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

Legal Current – “Free wi-fi is widely available and tempting to use, especially when traveling.  Hotels, airports, coffee shops, even NYC subway stations provide it. But the dangers of public wi-fi are many-fold.  Not only are they hunting grounds for hackers, but a new report from security firm FireEye claims a Russian hacker group known… Continue Reading