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  • Patch Lady – would you opt in for tracking?

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Patch Lady – would you opt in for tracking?

    • This topic has 27 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago.
    Viewing 22 reply threads
    • Author
      • #2255760
        Susan Bradley

        I kinda know how this is going to go before I post it but I thought this was interesting.  So I know how everyone feels about telemetry.  Here’s the U
        [See the full post at: Patch Lady – would you opt in for tracking?]

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2255764
        AskWoody Lounger

        In the US, the April 19 CBS “Sunday Morning” program ‘cover story’ was on this Apple/Google collaboration.
        YouTube – video/audio; 7:34
        Apple Podcast – audio; requires iTunes [not verified, I don’t have iTunes]

      • #2255772
        AskWoody Plus

        No way hose that is outrages count me out on that one. I hardly carry a mobile anyway

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2255773

        It will be interesting to see how this pans out, over the next couple of weeks (which I would be reviewing, before considering if it was for me – fortunately not an issue at the moment, as lockdown is fairly secure in these ‘ere parts).

        The reviews by @VTeagueAus and @matthewrdev seem promising, but I guess the first real test will be when they are called to service, in that “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” scenario.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2255793

          A deep dive into the installation, by Australian security supremo @troyhunt, should give some reassurance to Australians concerned about the app’s snooping. Check out the thread this is from:

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2255777
        AskWoody MVP

        The interesting thing is that Google and Apple are emphasizing the privacy and consent issues around using the app they are developing, and are going into great detail about the limitations and protections being built in… spending far more time on that, than the part about how using the app might be useful in controlling the further spread of COVID-19. It looks like they are highly aware of how ‘sensitive’ people are around privacy matters.

        The Australian app is not open source, and its code has not been released so others can review to see whether it is doing what it says it is doing. Really? How does a complete block on what it is actually capable of doing going to reassure anyone that it is safe to use? Transparency is a requirement, otherwise there is an imbalance of power from the get go.

        I think that the public discussion of privacy issues, rather than dismissing them or covering them with marketing speak, is healthy for all of us. It is clearly possible to track people, without their consent… some of the ‘tools’ developed and already deployed do not require our consent… and the biggest tech companies have had all invasive subtlety of peeking Tom’s asking for the curtains to be drawn back more, so the ‘experience’ will be better for all… so the fact that they’ve abandoned trying to convince us that its for our own good, knowing full well that the apps will be ineffective without public buy-in, is just more manipulation for their own, not our, best interests.

        I think that digital access is important for people, all across the globe. But it needs to be developed to provide greater individual privacy, safety, security, and choice… and at least developers are considering some of those aspects in their development and marketing of tech. Too often, tech has left us vulnerable to identity thieves, fraud and theft that has emptied bank accounts, tracking used to exploit us, and tools developed to further oppress and abuse populations and individuals. Why are criminals, tyrants, psychopaths, and scammers profiting at the expense of the rest of us? It doesn’t have to be that way.

        Question- which is more important in actually controlling the spread of disease?

        – distancing, washing hands, and not touching one’s face, which can be accomplished without any privacy violation…

        – or a tracking app on one’s phone that notifies you after exposure (remember, there isn’t any effective treatment yet)?

        If people followed the first, the second would be unnecessary.

        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

        8 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2255778
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m an Aussie and I would use it.

        Privacy isn’t a black and white issue, sometimes it has to be ceded for good reasons, and helping to stop this nasty bug is IMO an especially good one.

        If people were truly serious about privacy, they wouldn’t use the internet, phones, bank accounts, credit/debit cards,… But they do, because they perceive the benefits to outweigh the risks.

        Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2255776

        I’m an Aussie and won’t be using the app unless restrictions loosen to the point I think health is at risk not using it. The problem may not be the app itself.
        I am more concerned government data is a massive target for hackers and government IT tends to employ a few of the ‘aslo rans’.

      • #2255787
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        There are plenty of people who don’t have a smart phone so you are missing loads of people even if you make the app compulsory. As a voluntary app it’s probably loaded by those who are already taking appropriate precautions and are less likely to be infected, making tracing less effective.

        As for “load this app and we can relax restrictions early”, Australia is already relaxing restrictions in response to the very low rates of transmission now seen. No app required apparently.

        cheers, Paul

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2255788
        AskWoody Plus

        I am an Aussie but do not have a smart phone. The source code will be released ASAP. For more info:

        • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Pierre77. Reason: Typo
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2255794

        If they make it mandatory, it would not work for me.

        Bluetooth is off all the time. I even having Airplane mode on most of the time to save battery.

        • #2257575
          AskWoody Plus

          Just keep thinking that.  They can track with or without the phone being on.

          Also, even if they don’t use this method, by using your phone they can triangulate where you are from cell tower data.  Now, supposedly as of last year they said they stopped tracking phones (yeah, right).  We’ll see how that goes.

          It reminds me of a line in the movie “Sneakers”…”Too many secrets”.

          Windows 10 Pro x64 v1909, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Windows Vista Home Premium x64
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2257751
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            It is not a phone tracking app, it’s a proximity app – how long you are close to a phone running the same app.

            cheers, Paul

      • #2255797
        AskWoody Plus

        That won’t work with Apple devices :

        Bluetooth data is also uploaded to the server upon testing positive in order for the government to figure out, using signal strength, which contacts need to be notified.

        Apple doesn’t allow any BT running in the foreground and uploading data.
        Apple blocked France, Germany, EU request for such function due to privacy concerns:

        Germany said on Sunday it will use Apple and Google’s decentralized contact tracing API, reversing course on its original intention to use its own solution to track the spread of coronavirus

        • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Alex5723.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2255816
        AskWoody MVP

        Would I opt-in for this kind of tracking?

        That’s a hard “no.”

        I don’t have a smart phone, and one of the reasons is the tracking capabilities already built in (especially with Android).  Obviously, if I object to the tracking capability of a smartphone without a specific tracking app enough to not have one, I’m not going to go for any app whose purpose is to track in any way, for any reason.

        I avoid anything that involves Google wherever I can because of their limitless thirst for my personal data. Google’s involvement in this project alone would be enough to convert a ‘yes’ to a ‘no’ if I were so inclined (and using an Apple device, as Android is already Google).

        Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.21.5 User Edition)

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2255820
        AskWoody Lounger

        “Private Kit: Safe Paths collects users’ location data, keeping a time-stamped log every five minutes. In total, 28 days of data can be stored in the app in under 100 kilobytes of space (that’s less storage space than a single photo takes up). Your data never leaves your phone and is encrypted so that users cannot identify you. If you end up later testing positive for COVID-19, you can send your location data to public health researchers by using a QR code, thereby facilitating contact-tracing.”

        This is what I use. I have an iPhone 10r.

        I ‘m very privacy oriented. I would never own an Android smart phone (although I use Windows computers for 20 years) or use Google Chrome browser. In fact, for close to 20 years now I have completely blocked Google and Facebook and even Twitter, Instagram, etc in my Hosts file. I refuse to communicate with anyone with a gmail address. I thwart Microsoft snooping on my computers. But when I saw this app developed by MIT and others, I felt it was something I should do.

        • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Mele20.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2255876
        AskWoody MVP

        This is one of those cases where those that need it won’t use it, and those that use it won’t need it.  In other words, people who are diligent about following the social distancing guidelines will probably opt in, and those who ignore the guidelines because they come from “government” won’t opt in.  If I’m correct, its usefulness will be marginal at best.

        With the exception of YouTube, I avoid google, particularly the search engine.  As for tracking/being tracked, I use a combination of Firefox Privacy Protection, uBlock Origin, and going directly to my home page (DuckDuckGo) in between each and every internet hop.

        And I’m still using a Windows phone, Version 1709 OS Build 10.0.15254.603.  As for Social Distancing and Stay at Home, I’m all in.  I think that vastly increased testing is going to be our viable way out of this round, and the next one very likely coming in the fall.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2255923
        AskWoody Plus

        No, I would not opt in to such a “service”. Privacy aside, I do not need a app to tell me when I am within or getting close to being within 6 feet of someone else. If it were to contain 100% accurate information about who is currently an active positive Covid-19 case, then that might be different. But it is highly unlikely to provide such information regardless of accuracy. So I have no need for it.

        I suspect it is only the government and contractors like Google and Apple, who would stand to make huge bucks off the government, that really desire such a capability. I haven’t heard of anyone else demanding it. Their purpose would likely not be to keep us safe from each other, but to keep the government safe from us. All the reassurances about privacy, data retention, etc., could evaporate in a nanosecond if they decided to use it some other way. And who would you complain to about it?

        No thank you. Don’t need it. Don’t want it. Won’t have it.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2255928
        AskWoody Plus

        This is one of those cases where those that need it won’t use it

        You are correct. Those that need it are poor people that can’t afford a smartphone so use a feature phone or are using old smartphones that doesn’t support BT LE.

        2 billion phones cannot use Google and Apple contact-tracing tech

        System developed by Silicon Valley relies on technology missing from older handsets.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2255941
        AskWoody Lounger

        No way that I would agree to use it myself, way too much intrusion to my privacy as it is already.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2255947
        AskWoody Lounger

        Contact tracing apps unsafe if Bluetooth vulnerabilities not fixed:
        With governments increasingly looking to use contact tracing apps to help contain COVID-19, such initiatives are likely to spark renewed interest in Bluetooth attacks which means there is a need for assurance that these apps are regularly tested and vulnerabilities patched.
        By Eileen Yu for By The Way | April 25, 2020 — 10:51 GMT

        Germany pivots from centralized coronavirus tracing app to privacy-protecting alternative:
        The move will likely be applauded by privacy and civil rights groups.
        By Charlie Osborne for Zero Day | April 27, 2020 — 10:39 GMT

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2256016
        AskWoody Plus

        No, I am not going to download the app.

        1. Australia currently has about 10 new cases a day. The app is a sledgehammer to crack a nut IMO.
        2. The app will record when you have spent more than 15 minutes in the company of someone who later tests positive. If you are social isolating and staying indoors, the chances of this are insignificant.
        3. Anyone who tests positive should be able to remember who they spent more than 15 minutes with in the last 3 weeks. Probably only family or workmates.
        4. We have been told that the information is safe and will be held in Australia, however the app’s data-storage contract was awarded to Amazon cloud subsidiary Amazon Web Services (AWS),a US-incorporated business subject to the US CLOUD Act which requires American cloud services to produce, under subpoena, data held by them regardless of where in the world that data is stored.

        So no, I won’t be downloading it. It appears to be unnecessary and the safeguards at the moment appear to be “trust us”. I don’t.


        W7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit, Office 2010, Group B, non-techie

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2256059
        Steve S.
        AskWoody Plus

        My answer is no. I’ve never owned a smart phone – by choice. Early on, I followed the development of the outbreak in China and understood what it meant when the first reported case was announced in the US. So I started social distancing and sheltering at home way before these were a “thing”. My current circumstances and temperament allow me to do so: Retired, living in the rural woods and an introverted-leaning personality.  🙂

        I’m fine with continuing this behavior as long as it’s necessary. I’m doing the things needed so I don’t become a vector of transmission to others and am also reducing significantly the risks of getting it: Hand washing, wearing a mask as necessary, regularly disinfecting touchable surfaces and so on.

        I understand that many people aren’t able or inclined to live as I do. Their choices are theirs to make. I just pray people don’t give up more in privacy than the security or convenience they perceive they are getting, is worth.

        Win10 Pro x64 20H2, Win10 Home 20H2, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2257578
        AskWoody Plus

        Apple releases iOS 13.5 beta with first version of its COVID-19 exposure notification API

        “Apple has released a new beta of iOS 13.5 today, containing the first version of its exposure notification API for COVID-19 contact tracing. The beta is available to developers now alongside the first beta release of Xcode 11.5. The Xcode release includes an updated version of the iOS SDK that incorporates the exposure notification API.”

      • #2258444
        AskWoody Plus

        So only basic personal info that’s already known at registration

        Apple – Google API doesn’t need Any Registration and no personal info is sent.

      • #2260410
        AskWoody Plus

        ..The head of Australia’s contact-tracing app told senators on Tuesday his team is moving to the Apple-Google technology over a glitchy internal solution..

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