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Hmmm - someone else is 'watching me'


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4 hours ago, Peaklander said:

Can you elaborate please? I'm sure I'd be interested in more detail.

I had it in my head they were actually owned by Amazon and like Alexa can listen in on things they arent supposed to, Ring means they can also watch things that you dont think others are watching?

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4 hours ago, reb78 said:

I had it in my head they were actually owned by Amazon and like Alexa can listen in on things they arent supposed to, Ring means they can also watch things that you dont think others are watching?

Yep

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I have terrible teeth and haven't been registered with a dentist for years, I usually let them get seriously bad then go to the emergency dentist and have them extracted, when the person on the phone is asking the questions make sure to emphasise that you are already taking over the recommended dose of pain killers and using numbing cream and clove oil, they have always (thankfully!) been very helpful.

 

I keep looking for some dentists pliers, just how do they grip so well!?

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On 11/18/2020 at 11:10 PM, reb78 said:

I had it in my head they were actually owned by Amazon and like Alexa can listen in on things they arent supposed to, Ring means they can also watch things that you dont think others are watching?

IIRC Ring in the US would share any footage with the authorities at their request, without you having to grant permission or requiring a warrant. I'm not sure if the same applies here though. 

I terms of Amazon, they do a HUGE amount of data mining, yes. Their 'view' is that it means that they can run more efficient stock control, deliveries etc by basically knowing what you will buy before you do, but they also do a huge amount of targeted marketing, and quite a few marketplace sellers that have a successful product suddenly find themselves in competition with Amazon themselves and priced out of the market. 

All of the big tech companies do it - even if you don't have a facebook account, you more than likely have a 'ghost' account where they have figured out who you know, who you contact etc so they can more effectively serve you ads : https://medium.com/@SpiderOak/facebook-shadow-profiles-a-profile-of-you-that-you-never-created-302f99f20930

The US have very different laws to data privacy than Europeans do - for the most part, they 'accept' that they are being monitored and just get on with it, and they really don't understand the Europeans view on privacy, unfortunately I have to deal with this most days as part of my job!

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Yesterday I was talking to my wife (Dr Sarah) about the trouble I was having decoding the wiring of the Contactors in my Lathe (which I'm converting to Mach 4).  I don't have a scematic so it's a long process with a multimeter to figure out the wiring.

I've not searched google, nor typed in anything about contactors into any site apart from here.  Today on Amazon, the "more items to consider" and "Items you may like" both have 3 Phase Contactors in the list!  Likewise on eBay, the "Recommended for you" selection includes Contactors.

The only way they could know is via Siri on Sarah's phone or the Ring Doorbell.  It's too much of a random coincidence!

I was talking to Chris (GBMud) on Zoom a week ago about a film (Raiders of the lost arc) - and he says it's now popping up as one of the recommendations on Prime.  When I look on Prime - there it is too as the first in the list!

While all the companies deny that they evesdrop via smart devices - and it's near impossible to prove, the circumstancial evidence seems overwhelming!

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Amazon's mission statement.

"We aim to be Earth’s most customer centric company. Our mission is to continually raise the bar of the customer experience by using the internet and technology to help consumers find, discover and buy anything, and empower businesses and content creators to maximise their success."

 

So marketing then.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, simonr said:

Yesterday I was talking to my wife (Dr Sarah) about the trouble I was having decoding the wiring of the Contactors in my Lathe (which I'm converting to Mach 4).  I don't have a scematic so it's a long process with a multimeter to figure out the wiring.

I've not searched google, nor typed in anything about contactors into any site apart from here.  Today on Amazon, the "more items to consider" and "Items you may like" both have 3 Phase Contactors in the list!  Likewise on eBay, the "Recommended for you" selection includes Contactors.

The only way they could know is via Siri on Sarah's phone or the Ring Doorbell.  It's too much of a random coincidence!

I was talking to Chris (GBMud) on Zoom a week ago about a film (Raiders of the lost arc) - and he says it's now popping up as one of the recommendations on Prime.  When I look on Prime - there it is too as the first in the list!

While all the companies deny that they evesdrop via smart devices - and it's near impossible to prove, the circumstancial evidence seems overwhelming!

Pretty compelling evidence then.

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2 hours ago, Peaklander said:

Oh wow. Keep this stuff coming (not the dentist stuff ☺️). It is very interesting / slightly scary / un-surprising.

Or complete fiction 🙄

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1 hour ago, SteveG said:

Or complete fiction 🙄

It is, and it isn't... ;)

They aren't listening to your conversations, but the data mining and profiling algorithms are very, very clever..

In Ross' case, maybe you changed your facebook relationship status, or your ex- did, or one of your ex's friends mentioned in a post or something that you'd split up, so therefore you get targeted with adverts that single people may click on more than those in a relationship.

Likewise you have a voice conversation with someone that 'they' know you are connected to, they then go google for something you talked about, they get targeted with ads for it, as do you because you are associated with them. Probably your whole circle of acquaintances all got the same adverts, but it just seems weird to you...

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1 hour ago, SteveG said:

Or complete fiction 🙄

Until fairly recently, I would have agreed.  But the number of apparent coincidences is starting to make me wonder!

I don't think I'm particularly prone to conspiracy theories or irrational belief?

It is possible of course, as =Jon= pointed out that maybe Sarah googled for contactors to find out what the hell I was talking about and the others are genuine coincidences.  Who knows!

Si

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8 hours ago, simonr said:

Until fairly recently, I would have agreed.  But the number of apparent coincidences is starting to make me wonder!

I don't think I'm particularly prone to conspiracy theories or irrational belief?

It is possible of course, as =Jon= pointed out that maybe Sarah googled for contactors to find out what the hell I was talking about and the others are genuine coincidences.  Who knows!

Si

Raiders of the lost ark is, I suspect, popular at the moment due to the death of Sean Connery, and this may have been the reason you and Chris were talking about it. People search for the films Sean Connery has been in, and the popular ones naturally are watched more, moving them up the main popularity charts and hence they’re appearing in both yours and Chris’s recommended lists - combination of current popularity and your previous viewing preferences.

The problem with Google is that even if you turn off monitoring your browsing/search activity, as you say they go on household activity, friends in Facebook etc.etc. even your emails if you don’t again turn it off. Facebook share a lot of data back and forth with Google to increase effectiveness of ads. The more people share on Facebook, the more effective the ads will be. It’s the reason why I personally have had all my Google tracking turned off from the beginning and only use Facebook for LR groups.

I personally, find the ads annoying, in the same way that when I walk into a store and immediately an assistant will come up and ask how they can help or offer to show me their latest range of .... Unfortunately, some people like it, and also the retailers have found that people are more likely to buy/leave satisfied if they do this.

The voice devices from the main players are only listening when the wake word is uttered, or in Siri’s case anything vaguely resembling the wake word 🙄. Then everything is analyzed- most of it aimed at answering your question/instruction. If the voice assistant doesn’t understand your request it’s typically further analyzed, sometimes by a human being to improve it. For the next 5 years or so, if you don’t like voice activated devices, simply don’t use them. The problem comes when every car starts shipping with them, every new build house is mostly controlled by voice- then it will be harder.

My fictional comment earlier was aimed at the folks that make the leap to asserting that these companies are up to no good, are evil, plan to take over the world. For Google and Facebook, their goal is to serve more ads and make them more effective. For Amazon it’s to be the marketplace you choose to buy from. It might be annoying, but it’s not evil.

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The level of data science and profiling that everyone is subject to, all day every day is pretty mind boggling - it's big business now, multi-billions of dollars worth all to build up a picture of you and try and influence your behaviour. If you don't know what's going on, the only conclusion is that it must be magic, or they must be listening in to be able to serve you ads so accurately - the reality is that they probably know more about your habits than you do!

There's a quote that goes round:

Quote

If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold.

(from https://www.metafilter.com/95152/Userdriven-discontent#3256046)

Facebook isn't a social network, it's a marketing platform, just the same as google isn't a search engine now, it's a marketing platform. Their sole intention is to be able to serve you ads, that you will click on to buy things which will earn them money.

If you have netflix and a spare hour or two and like this stuff, watching "The Great Hack" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Hack) about Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Trump campaign (and maybe Brexit). CA used data harvested from Facebook to serve the right ads to the right people to influence the way they voted, and potentially changed the course of the election...

 

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As it seems to fit in with the pre-occupation of this thread ...

Today (Monday 23rd Nov 2020) the Daily Telegraph has an article, based around a Which? report.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/23/smart-doorbells-could-hackers-key-devices-inside-home/

Non-subscribers may not be able to read it all, so I've saved it as a pdf.
Yes I have a Ring Video door bell, but it's for visual deterrent purposes.

 

Smart doorbells could be hackers' key to devices inside your home.pdf

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Not just doorbells...

The Internet of Thingies, Ken Munro Pen Test Partners

Ken Munro of Pen Test Partners takes us on an interesting, amusing and scary journey through internet connected consumer devices. From children's toys (and, ahem, adult toys) to TV's and cars. For anybody in a product company watching this, please heed Ken's plea "when security researchers approach you - talk to them!" - you're doing the world a service.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt0ojsOMNgs

I saw this chap do his presentation live a few years ago at an IT security conference, it really is eye opening how insecure a lot of 'Internet of Things' devices are, yet most consumers blindly connect them to their networks.. 

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Working in IoT at the moment for a project, it is quite disconcerting how if there are flaws, it is quite possible for some nefarious type to bring your business to its knees.

The next war will be all about digital, and that is said with a realisation that we are probably already in it.

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4 hours ago, SteveG said:

The voice devices from the main players are only listening when the wake word is uttered, or in Siri’s case anything vaguely resembling the wake word 🙄. Then everything is analyzed- most of it aimed at answering your question/instruction.

I don't have any smart devices and have Google voice assistant knobbled as far as possible on my phone - except the Ring doorbell & Cameras, which obviously don't have a wake-word but are triggered by movement.

I'd kind of assumed it would only send data when it was triggered - but if you monitor (using Wireshark) you can see that it is exchanging a reasonable amount of data continuously.  If you stand close to it, but out of sight, and speak the volume of data increases slightly.  I had assumed that the movement detection & functionality was processed inside the camera - but I suspect at least some of it is being sent to Ring.  Certainly the 'person detection' is remote - and that means the video (and audio presumably) are being sent continuously (or at least differential changes).  It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the audio is being analysed for potential marketing use.

I agree it's not evil - and many people like it, but it's not quite what you think you're signing up for in a paid for device, with a paid monthly subscription.  You are buying and paying a subscription for a surveylence device which targets you, as well as visitors, welcome or unwelcome.

Like you I have as much of the tracking as possible disabled and generally the ads I see appear random.  However that makes the few which appear closely targeted stand out all the more!

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42 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

Working in IoT at the moment for a project, it is quite disconcerting how if there are flaws, it is quite possible for some nefarious type to bring your business to its knees.

The next war will be all about digital, and that is said with a realisation that we are probably already in it.

Almost certainly - if you wanted to bring an entire country to it's knees, take the communications infrastructure offline, followed by power/utilities and within a few weeks the country will have ground to a complete halt. 

No comms - no purchases online or offline (cash would work for a few days). No re-supply of supermarkets, petrol stations,  pretty quickly the country would revert to total chaos..

And that's even before you have turned the power and water off...

Edited by =jon=
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5 minutes ago, simonr said:

I agree it's not evil - and many people like it, but it's not quite what you think you're signing up for in a paid for device, with a paid monthly subscription.  You are buying and paying a subscription for a surveylence device which targets you, as well as visitors, welcome or unwelcome.

Which is what everyone has been doing since the launch of the original iPhone! 

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I do wonder, now that tech is/has destroyed so many employment opportunities for so many "manual" workers, and given that the population is rapidly growing, what will become of all those who will not be able to find gameful employment in the future ?

What are they going to do ? Who is going to pay for them ? As far as I can see, this situation is only going to get worse.

Are so many going to employed "spying"on others ? Will we, one day, be in danger of being arrested for something we have said or done in the comfort and "privacy" of our own homes ?

I find this all quite a scary prospect.

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