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405 posts

Ultimate Geek

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# 257099 15-Sep-2019 11:16
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An iPerson with whom I spar just sent me information on the new Apple U1 chip and what it will be able to do (a "real innovation", he said, which indeed it may be).

 

Apparently, it will be able to locate things (with Apple Tags, none yet I believe) and iPhones (hence people) with sub-centimeter accuracy.  I immediately worried about privacy and the GDPR, and the use of this technology by bad actors and governments.

 

Without some pretty industrial-scale opt-in and opt-out, and no backdoors, this sounds to be like the sort of Brave New World in which I'd prefer not to live.

 

Am I right to worry, or am I just paranoid?





gml


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686 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 2318059 15-Sep-2019 12:06
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In its current implementation (or so I gathered from what little has been said about it) it just means you can find other devices quicker when using AirDrop to transfer files to another iOS device or Mac.

Eg. In my office there are 5 of us all with at least 1 Mac and 1 iPhone each. Opening AirDrop currently means I have to find their name and their device in the list, whereas with the U1 chip the idea is that if I’m pointing my phone directly at person #3’s iPhone, it’ll bring their iPhone AirDrop name and icon to the start/front of the queue.

Now, sure, if everyone is walking around with the “Allow AirDrop from: Everyone” setting turned on (rather than the default “Allow AirDrop from: Contacts only”), it might make it slightly easier to pinpoint someone’s name with the U1 chip rather than wondering who in the room/restaurant/wherever is “John’s iPhone” and who is “Sally’s iPhone”.

 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek


  # 2318128 15-Sep-2019 15:15
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Dont worry, new cases have come to market ti block this terrible technology so you will be safe as...


Seriously, if it bothers you, dont buy it!

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Ultimate Geek


  # 2318147 15-Sep-2019 16:30
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Of all the companies out there that are working on similar capability, Apple is the one I’d trust the most with this sort of technology.



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Ultimate Geek

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  # 2318158 15-Sep-2019 17:12
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chevrolux: Dont worry, new cases have come to market ti block this terrible technology so you will be safe as...


Seriously, if it bothers you, dont buy it!

 

My worry was much more general than myself -- I won't buy it, at least not until I can't avoid buying a phone with this capability, or the government mandates that I do.

 

As you all know, technology can be used for good and ill.  Am I sure that Apple will corner this market and act like an ethical company?  Neither.





gml


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  # 2318164 15-Sep-2019 17:20
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Am I sure that Apple will corner this market and act like an ethical company?

 

There are already quite a lot of different technologies around capable of this sort of thing. Supermarkets are implementing it to track shoppers habits around stores, for example.

 

Apple isn't doing anything that revolutionary here - they just have a cool sounding brand for it.


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  # 2318165 15-Sep-2019 17:21
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mdav056:

 

chevrolux: Dont worry, new cases have come to market ti block this terrible technology so you will be safe as...


Seriously, if it bothers you, dont buy it!

 

My worry was much more general than myself -- I won't buy it, at least not until I can't avoid buying a phone with this capability, or the government mandates that I do.

 

As you all know, technology can be used for good and ill.  Am I sure that Apple will corner this market and act like an ethical company?  Neither.

 

 

IEEE 802.15.4 is the standard for this technology and is apparently over 15 years old if CNET is to be believed. Apple just happen to be implementing it in a phone now. The types of organisations one should really be worried about probably implemented a form of it long ago...






 
 
 
 


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  # 2318218 15-Sep-2019 20:11
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The use of technology by bad actors and governments is just a part of being human; we have mistrusted each other from day one, and whenever something new comes along, there will always be someone to try and exploit it. Such is life. GSM was supposed to be impossible to break until Mossad did it in the late 90’s.

All that’s left is the solutions and the organisations that offer solutions. Apple has taken a huge public stance on privacy , so if they get hacked widely it will be a really BFD. I wouldn’t trust any android device for anything important, and I know many security folks who utterly shun the platform

Have to admit when these discovery capability came out I was intrigued, esp at the lack of controls aspect. But I’m sure it will come with basic controls to limit what it can do.





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289 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2319124 17-Sep-2019 12:26
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Serious question - where are posting this question from, and what does the GDPR have to do with New Zealand?

 

The GDPR is a framework for global companies who operate or deal with customers who originate from Europe. 

 

I trust you don't have a Samsung or LG smart TV? Can't use it without agree to the terms of service which include listening/collecting analytics on your use.

 

Also if you care about privacy to the nth degree, why aren't you living in Japan?





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Ultimate Geek

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  # 2319154 17-Sep-2019 13:10
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premiumtouring:

 

Serious question - where are posting this question from, and what does the GDPR have to do with New Zealand?

 

The GDPR is a framework for global companies who operate or deal with customers who originate from Europe. 

 

I trust you don't have a Samsung or LG smart TV? Can't use it without agree to the terms of service which include listening/collecting analytics on your use.

 

Also if you care about privacy to the nth degree, why aren't you living in Japan?

 

 

Odd question.  Where I am posting from is irrelevant to you.  Why do you assume that I am particularly worried about NZL?  Just because I posted on Geekzone and mentioned the GDPR?  I'm worried about the freaking world!

 

You answered your own question about what the GDPR has to do with NZ.

 

I don't have those things you itemize.  But I do have an Android phone, and when I downloaded the data that Google has on me more than a year ago, I received an 8 GB file.  I found this very concerning, and I don't like it.  But that's hardly care to the nth degree, because I didn't do anything about it.  So I didn't have to go to Japan.

 

The privacy question comes in when iPhones (and then others) and iTiles form a mesh -- maybe people won't be able to contact me or provide me with adverts from the shop I am in, because I have turned privacy on, but passive data on what phones and tiles and wifi networks I was near and when will still be collected by large companies.  And I will be able immediately to be found, like it or not.  Some of this is collected now, but I see a possibility that a U1 mesh will just add another order of magnitude.

 

What do you understand by the term "privacy"?  Are you against it?





gml


289 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2319568 18-Sep-2019 07:24
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mdav056:

 

premiumtouring:

 

Serious question - where are posting this question from, and what does the GDPR have to do with New Zealand?

 

The GDPR is a framework for global companies who operate or deal with customers who originate from Europe. 

 

I trust you don't have a Samsung or LG smart TV? Can't use it without agree to the terms of service which include listening/collecting analytics on your use.

 

Also if you care about privacy to the nth degree, why aren't you living in Japan?

 

 

Odd question.  Where I am posting from is irrelevant to you.  Why do you assume that I am particularly worried about NZL?  Just because I posted on Geekzone and mentioned the GDPR?  I'm worried about the freaking world!

 

You answered your own question about what the GDPR has to do with NZ.

 

I don't have those things you itemize.  But I do have an Android phone, and when I downloaded the data that Google has on me more than a year ago, I received an 8 GB file.  I found this very concerning, and I don't like it.  But that's hardly care to the nth degree, because I didn't do anything about it.  So I didn't have to go to Japan.

 

The privacy question comes in when iPhones (and then others) and iTiles form a mesh -- maybe people won't be able to contact me or provide me with adverts from the shop I am in, because I have turned privacy on, but passive data on what phones and tiles and wifi networks I was near and when will still be collected by large companies.  And I will be able immediately to be found, like it or not.  Some of this is collected now, but I see a possibility that a U1 mesh will just add another order of magnitude.

 

What do you understand by the term "privacy"?  Are you against it?

 

 

Actually, where you are posting from is relevant as one could confuse your random mention of GDPR as that of someone who has confused a foreign law/protection for a local one.

 

I'm not against privacy at all, in fact, I'm an advocate for privacy (I'm also the appointed privacy officer at the company I work for). But you are taught to advocate for privacy within reason, because technology itself and the generation of children flowing through are changing the way we interpret privacy.

 

For someone who has an Android phone it is fundamentally ironic that you are concerned about privacy. I would say that if you didn't want anyone tracking what you do on your devices, get a Nokia, but even they have had to modernise how they collect diagnostics and manage analytics on their phones.

 

At least with Apple, they go out of their way to obfuscate and/or anonymise any data they *have* to collect in order to provide meaningful services. Not to mention, they were the first platform to set the standard around "opt-in" privacy controls for apps and developers. If you haven't already, their approach to Privacy is class leading. They're not perfect (because they're comprised of humans from many different backgrounds), but it is better than all current alternatives.

 

You specifically mentioned Apple's anonymised mesh network combined with a rumoured "iTile" which will be used to discover misplaced/stolen devices. This tells me you either understand the technology, and you're just extremely paranoid, OR you follow a "big brother" blog who has taken a useful technology and tried to spin it into a scare story.

 

Either way, the only people who should be concerned about this mesh network is thieves and criminals. For everyone else is net positive. Nothing is going to stop Apple from protecting the interests and property of their customers. The rumoured tile and its associated mesh network will be a game changer if it is even 50% accurate. I'll be sticking one on the boat, the car, the dog, my photography gear, the kids etc.. If you rob my place you won't get far before Apple tells me exactly where my stuff was last seen, thanks to an anonymous nearby iPhone user.

 

UWB is the technology that allows this to become more accurate and so that using AR you can look around the room and it can show you exactly where your item is.

 

Now tell me, how is any of this fundamentally bad for society and me?

 

 

 

 





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405 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 2320116 19-Sep-2019 09:18
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You make a bunch of valid points. But...

 


First, I discern a kind of mission creep in this area.  Yes, we are changing the way we view privacy, and that is something I'm unhappy about.  Does the trajectory include chip implantation at the same time as the MMR vaccination?  Could be.  You can argue huge benefits -- I no longer have to carry my credit card, no longer have to have my passport checked, and I can enter my place of work without a card and login to my desktop without a password.  And I can be identified immediately should I suck the kumara in a public place (and maybe have this event immediately reported to the police).  Glorified password manager--but like all such, lose the main entry point, and you've lost the lot.  And 2-factor authorization won't really be an option anymore unless you add an iris scan and/or fingerprints and/or DNA data--at which point, any value to me is seriously attenuated.  Maybe this is where I worry most, though I am of an age at which it likely won't affect me.

 

Second, more about things than people--Yes, it would be great if we could find lost items immediately and accurately.  But coming to rely on such tiles has implications for the brain -- neuropsychologists I know are concerned about shrinking hippocampuses (the opposite of the effect of The Knowledge in London taxi drivers), and they tell me that my use of my Outlook calendar is messing with my memory for whens and wheres (but maybe this is just age).  Additionally, there is quite good evidence that an active "mental" life is protective against (or maybe just delays) the onset of diagnosable Alzheimers.  However, of course, tiles on things could help some, but not all, aspects of life with Alzheimers.

 

Third, obfuscation of personal data.  I think we can agree on the perils of that!  Not a day passes without some repository, governmental or commercial or personal, gets hacked or simply left open-to-view en claire.

 

Fourth, GDPR is, in my view, something to which we (NZers) should aspire.  It's a good source of government finance from big companies when they fail the test (I jest, sort of...).

 

Fifth, science fiction had a habit of becoming science fact; and the future inexorably becomes the present.  I'm looking forward to January 2020 and the next William Gibson opus.

 

I did have a bunch of tiles a few years ago (Bluetooth ones, so poor range).  They were supposed to form a global mesh, but they never did simply because they never got to any sort of critical number here.  So, finding my car in a carpark was never an option.  Finding things in the house did work in a way (I had to walk around a bit), but finding the dog was easier by voice than getting my mobile out.  Finding mu phone was, well, difficult...
Finally, I think it is only good that people should have conversations about how current technological developments may affect them or their children.  Maybe we can avoid some pitfalls rather than trying to dig ourselves out of them when they have occurred.

 

 





gml


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