Welcome to e.Woke #52: TeenSafe is UnSafe
This week was messy as ever: Trump ignores security protocols because it’s inconvenient, Amazon is selling facial recognition software to cops, and the FBI lied. Let’s settle in, disable our cameras and microphones, and get right into the hot mess that is e.Woke #52.
I think we can ALL admit that we’ve clicked “Remind Me Later” or “Ignore” when our phones/computers send us an update, but Trump is on a whoooole other level, “The president, who relies on cell phones to reach his friends and millions of Twitter followers, has rebuffed staff efforts to strengthen security around his phone use, according to the administration officials.” This is super unsafe, but I can’t help but wonder what his apps are…probably Twitter, FOX News, and Plague Inc.
This is just wrong. “The software, created by Amazon Web Services, is called “Amazon Rekognition” and promises to “perform real-time recognition of persons of interest from camera live streams against your private database of face metadata,” I’ll be right back! I have to start training my team of advanced carrier pigeons called “RainForest”.
So, the FBI lied about being able to hack 7,800 devices, when in reality they can only hack 1,000-2,000. This reminds me of a kid telling an elaborate lie at school then getting called out for lying. “The FBI used the inflated number as evidence that companies like Apple should weaken smartphone security in order to help the agency access encrypted devices.” Although I do not like Apple, I have to admit that it really seems like the FBI has it out for them.
TeenSafe is actually pretty UnSafe after all. The creepy Norman/Norma Bates app that lets parents act as the NSA to their children has had a big data leak “The mobile app, TeenSafe, bills itself as being a “secure” monitoring app built by parents, for parents. It lets parents view their kids’ text messages, monitor who they’re calling and when, to track their phones’ current and historical locations, to check their browsing histories, and to see what apps they’ve installed.” The leak itself is of “Apple user IDs, parents’ email addresses, unique phone IDs, users’ attempts to “find my iPhone” and passwords stored in plaintext.” Here is the only word that can capture the true disastrous nature of this leak: “YIKES”.
Digital Security Tips, Resources, and Guides:
- The Path to Victory on Net Neutrality in the House of Representatives and How You Can Help (via EFF)