Watch, monitor, follow and spy are all words that mean the same thing to me. The NSA released a guide warning against the security risks that come with not securing your phone, tablet or smartwatches. Many of us have smart devices in every room: watching, listening, waiting. Device location data can be used to compromise staff working in defense or national security. So it goes without saying that location data is pretty valuable. What are you buying?
It can provide details about how many users are in an area as well as a user’s daily routine. Geo-location data can also reveal associations between a user and a place that may have been unknown otherwise. Working in broadcast sales, we know all about Geo-fencing, that’s how we know you’re in a certain area. For example, during the initial lock downs, our cellular location data was used to determine if we were staying in or venturing out due to quarantine fatigue.This information can be obtained without the consent of the service provider because collecting this information is a part of normal operations.
The NSA guide is called Limiting your Exposure. Limiting, because it’s nearly impossible to stop location tracking altogether. If the device is on, your location can be tracked. Our devices collect this information by design. The article suggests using a secure VPN, resetting your advertising id weekly and disabling find my iPhone to strengthen security.
Everyday users like us don’t want these services turned off because it is inconvenient. We give up so much of our privacy for the sake of convenience. It’s like a bargain; We give our phones everything they need to best serve us. Our location, our names, our face, our schedules, our contacts and correspondence and even our fingerprints are exposed somewhere in the name of ease and convenience.