“It is vitally important to recognize that cellular telephony is a surveillance technology, and that unless we openly discuss this surveillance capability and craft appropriate legal and technological limits to that capability, we may lose some or all of the social benefits of this technology, as well as a significant piece of ourselves. Most people don’t understand that we’re selling our privacy to have these devices.” — Stephen Wicker, Cornell
What is startling about that statement is not what it implies, but that it gets stated so rarely, never in mainstream media, and in this instance, referring to an preinstalled Android app that runs in stealth mode without users knowledge, that it took so long to be made.
Wicker is writing about a particularly vile piece of what I call slimeware1 that has been shipped on various cell phones primarily in North America. To the best of my knowledge, it first came to light in August of this year and caused an absolute lack of concern amongst shiny junk users, who if they offered any kind of response at all, was generally along the lines of “stop being paranoid”. Wicker disagrees. From the same article – (more…)