Google’s Trust Contacts app tracks your location, travel history and shares it even without your phone powered on

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D. Samuelson
December 11, 2016 is thrilled that Google’s new Trust Contacts app is going to make everyone “safe” by giving your friends and family, or anyone who requests the info, your location at any time. You can say no, but if you don’t respond, the location will be shared, even if your phone is off. How convenient.

This “keeping you safe” rationale is the same rationale that pharmaceutical giant Merck uses to market its dangerous and occasionally deadly HPV vaccination, Gardasil, which is supposed to keep your 11 and 12 year-old daughters – and sons -“safe” from HPV, cervical cancer or genital warts. Homeland Security was built to keep us “safe.”  The war on terror is about keeping Americans “safe” from terror. The war on poverty was supposed to keep folks “safe from poverty. The war on drugs was supposed to keep people “safe” from drugs.

Whenever you hear about a technology, a war, or a big pharma chemical developed with the goal of “keeping you safe,” it’s doublespeak with a dark agenda. The surveillance state encroaches our every move, along with abundant poverty, terror and pharmaceutical drugs. So now, by utilizing the free nifty Google Trust Contacts app for your worried “closest friends and family members,” or whomever may be hacking in, everybody is going to feel so much safer. How warm and fuzzy of them.

This Google app also shares other details. Your trusted contacts, or those posing as trusted contacts, can also be privy to your phone’s battery level as well as have access to all the places you’ve been, even if your phone is off. These surveillance techniques may seem trendy – and even necessary to the techies. Besides, it’s just an integral part of the new smart world we are being trained to jump head first into. Millions, maybe billions, don’t give much thought to the  transactions, locations, phone calls, contacts, emails, tweets, texts, chats, pictures, medical records, tax returns, internet searches and a thousand other activities that once were private and protected  – could now easily be subject to digital manipulated and used against them.

Wired reports that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, now executive Chairman of the parent company Alphabet, was tapped in early 2016 to advise the Pentagon about”rapid prototyping, iterative product development, business analytics, mobile apps, and the cloud.” That sounds a bit like a double safe, doesn’t it?

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Samsung Warns Customers To Think Twice About What They Say Near Smart TVs


Jake Anderson
February 13, 2016

In a troubling new development in the domestic consumer surveillance debate, an investigation into Samsung Smart TVs has revealed that user voice commands are recorded, stored, and transmitted to a third party. The company even warns customers not to discuss personal or sensitive information within earshot of the device.

This is in stark contrast to previous claims by tech manufacturers, like PlayStation, who vehemently deny their devices record personal information, despite evidence to the contrary, including news that hackers can gain access to unencrypted streams of credit card information.

The new Samsung controversy stems from the discovery of a single haunting statement in the company’s “privacy policy,” which states:

Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.

This sparked a back and forth between the Daily Beast and Samsung regarding not only consumer privacy but also security concerns. If our conversations are “captured and transmitted,” eavesdropping hackers may be able to use our “personal or other sensitive information” for identity theft or any number of nefarious purposes.

There is also the concern that such information could be turned over to law enforcement or government agencies. With the revelation of the PRISM program — by which the NSA collected data from Microsoft, Google, and Facebook — and other such NSA spying programs, neither the government nor the private sector has the benefit of the doubt in claiming tech companies are not conscripted into divulging sensitive consumer info under the auspices of national security.

Michael Price, counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, stated:

I do not doubt that this data is important to providing customized content and convenience, but it is also incredibly personal, constitutionally protected information that should not be for sale to advertisers and should require a warrant for law enforcement to access.

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