iPhone caught out breaching users privacy again as Twitter apps upload full address books without their users permission

By Dark Politricks

Another example of modern technology being used to implement the surveillance state by consent has come to light with the recent news that Twitter has been caught out invading it’s millions of iPhone users privacy by uploading the entire contents of the phone users address books to their servers without permission.

From a story in the Irish Times:

TWITTER HAS promised to make changes to its privacy policies after admitting to uploading entire address books from users’ iPhones and storing them on its computers for up 18 months.

The social network uses the information to help users find existing contacts who already have a Twitter account.

It is the latest internet company revealed to have been copying and storing entire address books from smartphones to provide a “Find Friends” service.

Last week Arun Thampi, a programmer in Singapore, revealed that Path, a social network app created by a former Facebook engineer, was copying address-book data from users’ iPhones without notifying them.

Mr Thampi’s blog post about the practice received worldwide attention, with the result that programmers and privacy advocates began checking to see if other popular apps also uploaded user data without user permission.

Other popular apps – including Yelp, Foursquare, Foodspotting and Instagram – were found to be uploading user data without making it clear they were doing so.

The issue attracted attention from the US Congress. Two members of the subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade have written to Apple chief executive Tim Cook seeking further information on its privacy guidelines for apps. The letter makes reference to one appmaker who claims to have a database including “Mark Zuckerberg’s cell phone number, Larry Ellison’s home phone number and Bill Gates’s cell phone number”.

Apple has responded by saying that in future any app accessing contact information will need explicit approval from the user.

An Apple spokesman said that “Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines”.

So Apple are basically admitting any application that collects or stores users contact data is in breach of their terms of service but somehow I doubt that Twitter is going to be punished in the same way anyone else would if they had been caught breaking the Terms of Service of a global technology giant like Apple.

This comes not so long after the last iPhone related story about your privacy being nothing but an antiquated concept when it was realised that iPhones were secretly tracking every users movements through their inbuilt GPS systems and logging them to a database which could then be taken from the phone by anyone with the right tools. This included Police forces who would pull over drivers and use mobile scanners to transmit the database from the drivers phone to their own computers so that they could see where the person had been travelling to.

Even though stories like this come around every few months or so causing big outcries until the technology device manufacturer promises to fix the “bug” in their software. People need to realise that it doesn’t matter if the phone or computer they are using is fitted with key-logging detector software and have their GPS turned off or any other method they think will avoid them being tracked. The only way to avoid being tracked and monitored is to go and live in the woods with no modern electrical devices and divorce yourself from society altogether.

I have documented on this site many times how the big technology players all have links to the global surveillance network in some cases working closely together with agencies such as the CIA and NSA. Even if you disable every possible app and feature on your smart-phone you are still going to be tracked by the cellphone towers that provide your signal and all the modern super computers that reside at those huge data centres monitoring your calls, emails, web traffic and emails for signs of terrorism, malcontent or displeasure at our utopian society.

If you don’t believe me just spent a minute or two reading up on ECHELON, and that is a system that has been around for decades. Just imagine what the NSA is capable of now in this post 9-11 world of fear where a terrorist is living in every street and citizens are being asked by Big Brother and Big Sis to keep an eye out for anything “unusual”.

This includes people paying with cash, texting in public, supporting the right to bear firearms, ex servicemen, patriots, supporters of Ron Paul or the Occupy movement, belief in outlandish conspiracies like 9.11 or any of the other lies that started our decade of war or anything else on the many leaflets given out to shop keepers and citizens eager to do their duty by snitching on others trying to change the world for the better.

So it comes as no surprise to find yet another example of one of the huge Internet companies breaking privacy laws and stealing personal info at every opportunity as that’s the name of the game nowadays.

We have Microsoft building backdoors into their PC’s so that the NSA can bypass local security measures and access them remotely, Google helped to get going with CIA money as well as helping the myriad of US security companies come up with real time monitoring systems. We also have these huge companies buying up smaller enterprises at every opportunity and with most of the world on Facebook (who seem to have issues with their users privacy on a monthly basis) it makes sense for the intelligence community to have close links with any web outfit who’s only product is YOUR personal information.

As with Microsofts recent purchase of SKYPE and Googles purchase of most new web technologies that make communication easier the introduction of IPv6 will soon mean that every computer, smart phone, TV and digital appliance connected to the Internet will have it’s own unique static IP address enabling any organisation to easily monitor a “person of interest”. I can only imagine the size of the databases required at Langley and GCHQ to keep all the information logged about everybody.

8.30 am Mr X’s alarm clock went off

8.45 am Mr X emptied his dishwasher, he unloaded 6 plates, 3 forks and 2 tea spoons.

9.30 am Mr X made a phone call to Mr Y lasting 5 minutes 30 seconds in which the following sentences were mentioned: “The government sucks”, “I wish someone would do something about the debt crisis” and “I think someone shoot punch David Cameron”.

9.50 am Mr X left his house and walked 0.4 miles to the shops at these co-ordinates X,Y. His phones GPS logged his journey and 5 CCTV cameras caught his travels in real time.

10.15 am Mr X visited Tesco’s where he bought the following items: A pack of batteries, a torch, the Guardian and some cigarettes. He paid in cash!

10.22 am A CCTV camera recorded a conversation Mr X had with someone outside the shop. The facial recognition software has identified this person as Mr Q who has a criminal record for public order offences as well as being logged as attending a recent Occupy Wall St protest in London.  The nearest voice activated lamppost recorded the full conversation which is ranked the malcontent level of the people as 8.2 out of 10.

10.45 am Mr X logged onto his computer with the following password XXXXX. He went to the following flagged website http://www.infowars.com where he made the following comment on an article titled “why we need a revolution”. His comment suggests that he is a potential threat to society and a believer in conspiracy theories. He is currently being processed by the new database at GCHQ for possible signs of danger to society.

10.40 am Mr X has been flagged as domestic extremist and a SWAT team is proceeding to his residence to extract him for questioning.

I’m sure that was all just the fantastical ramblings of a wild imagination and nowhere near the realms of possibility but at least we can rely on the youth of today to sort things out for us before things get too far down the road to a total surveillance state – oh wait they don’t know what privacy means. Looks like we’re screwed then.

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