Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Nov 2017 16:09 UTC

Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers - even when location services are disabled - and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals' locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.

Quartz observed the data collection occur and contacted Google, which confirmed the practice.

The cell tower addresses have been included in information sent to the system Google uses to manage push notifications and messages on Android phones for the past 11 months, according to a Google spokesperson. The were never used or stored, the spokesperson said, and the company is now taking steps to end the practice after being contacted by Quartz. By the end of November, the company said, Android phones will no longer send cell-tower location data to Google, at least as part of this particular service, which consumers cannot disable.

Raise your hand if you're surprised.

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RE[13]: party like it's 1995
by Alfman on Mon 27th Nov 2017 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE[12]: party like it's 1995"
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And I did enjoy reading your posts, quite informative. ;)

Haha, I enjoy yours too. Crypto currencies are really interesting. I'm not sure how much you follow them, but there are variations to the "proof of work" model, where bitcoin and friends rely on the difficulty of cracking difficult hash problems with enormous computing power.

Another model is known as "proof of stake", which is used by peercoin and does away with the need for enormous hashing power. By changing the economic model, POS rewards the possession of currency (kind of like interest) rather than mining power. There are technical caveats with these too, but in terms of carbon emissions, it's much less wasteful than POW.

Obviously currency became necessary so that people could exchange goods and services in non-reciprocal ways. You know, this sounds funny, but maybe we could just do away with currency all together. Fiat currency is already based on the arbitrary value of what it can buy, but in theory you could do away with it and instead go back to bartering. Some multi-party bartering services are on the rise, and I find this very intriguing! "I need X, I can offer Y" and the platform builds a graph of transactions between you and other users in the network to make it happen. The value of everyone's needs and contributions can be derived in terms of the goods and services being exchanged rather than an independent currency.

How much is your work worth in lollipops? A bartering platform with enough participants should be able to tell you! This stuff is fun to think about. It just occurred to me that it should be possible to build such a platform using federated/P2P protocols with no central authority, that would be pretty cool ;)

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