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“It’s Not Spying if They’re Always Watching.”

One Baltimore police sergeant, after viewing the capabilities of this “new” technology, exclaimed, “This is just overwhelming right here! This is amazing!”

Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst and privacy expert for the ACLU in Washington, after a demonstration of the technology, said, “OK, this is it. This is where the rubber hits the road. The technology has finally arrived, and Big Brother, which everyone has always talked about, is finally here.”

Read more…



However … we did discover this remarkable “commercial” about two or three years ago and featured it at that time. In case you have not seen this, I present it here and across my network once again. It bears serious consideration. It’s Uniqul … the first facial recognition payment system. Pay with your face. No cash needed. Other payment systems are catching on — like PayPal. Listen closely to the narrative. Amazing!



What are “Biometrics”?

“Biometric identifiers are the distinctive, measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals. Biometric identifiers are often categorized as physiological versus behavioral characteristics. Physiological characteristics are related to the shape of the body. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina and odor/scent.” — Wikipedia

Through advancements in biometric technology — such as iris scanning, facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, voice recognition, and more — our bodies are betraying our anonymity. Through the added connections with data mining, embedded IoT (Internet of Things), convergence marketing, and the like, it’s little wonder that such pervasively invasive technology is leaving us precious few places to be alone for that private cup of coffee.

Is that really you? Biometrics says yes or no

“On average, a person can remember three or four different passwords. So we start using the same passwords. If you can find out someone’s password, you get access to their whole life. With biometrics, a smartphone can be 100 percent certain that it’s you using it.” — INC.

World of Sensors Grows

ImageJeremy Rifkin has been one of the authors I have oft-quoted since the 1970s from such books as ENTROPY (1981) and THE EMERGING ORDER (1979). He is president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and has authored at least 19 books on the impact advancing technology has on the global economy.

He recently emerged in the March 15 edition of the New York Times talking about the long-termed effect of the Internet of Things (IoT) in an article entitled, “The Rise of Anti-Capitalism.”

“Now the phenomenon is about to affect the whole economy. A formidable new technology infrastructure — the Internet of Things — is emerging with the potential to push much of economic life to near zero marginal cost over the course of the next two decades. This new technology platform is beginning to connect everything and everyone. Today more than 11 billion sensors are attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks and recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores and vehicles, feeding big data into the Internet of Things. By 2020, it is projected that at least 50 billion sensors will connect to it.” – Read more …





Chris Gash for TIME

Yep, it’s really happening, folks! We knew it was going to have to happen “some day,” but we didn’t see this coming this way.

[TIME, May, 15, 2017 – “Alexa Takes the Stand …”] It’s a murder case in Bentonville, Ark. It’s a case of he says/”it” says. And it’s not just Amazon Echo’s “Alexa” doing the testifying for the prosecution. It appears a number of “smart” devices at the scene of the crime are on the witness list.

Unprecedented? You bet! “The case, which goes to trial in July, marks the first time ever that data recorded by an Echo, or any other artificial intelligence-powered device, like Google’s Home or Samsung’s smart TV, will be submitted as evidence in court,” TIME reports. One quoted legal specialist adds: “We are living in an always on, always connected world. We are creating records that have never existed before.”

Read more HERE.

“Your Headphones Can Be Hijacked And Used To Spy On You” – Forbes

More and more people are donning ear buds or wireless headphones as they walk down the street or commute in their daily travels. They give a sense of “privacy” that says, “Don’t bother me.” Well, those hallowed headsets may be more of a dead giveaway to your whereabouts and activities than you could ever have imagined, according to this report in Forbes headphones

“Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have demonstrated proof-of-concept malware that can turn headphones and non-powered speakers into microphones.A pair of ordinary ear buds worked so well as a microphone that they were able to record clear audio of a man’s voice who was standing 20 feet away from the computer.”

The researchers warn that “there’s no easy software fix. This isn’t a traditional vulnerability” they warn. “The ability to change a jack’s function from input to output is a piece of core functionality in (these) chips.” Read more …



drones[1]How connected are you to the Internet? Smart phone? Home appliances? Security network and environment control systems? What about your car?

A Texas-based company known as Praetorian conducted a hacking test of devices connected to the Internet through what is known as “The Internet of Things” (IoT) by flying a specially-equipped drone over Austin, Texas in search of such devices. The project — called the “Internet of Things Map Project” — located over 1600 devices sharing the same wireless protocol called ZigBee.

The researchers found that the vulnerabilities within the network of devices sharing the same protocol gave them access to such things as household appliances, motion sensors, temperature controls, door locks and even light bulbs, just to name a few.

For a better understanding of the scope behind this threat, consider that 2014 became the benchmark year for GM’s push for Internet enabled vehicles beginning with their 2015 line.

Dan Akerson, General Motor’s top executive, is pushing for a new generation of networked vehicles for his grandchildren. “I have grandchildren that have only grown up in a world with smartphones,” he says.

“The Internet is about to hit the open road. A new fleet of online-connected automobiles set to debut this summer are aiming to make using web services a more seamless part of the driving experience,” reported TIME magazine on January 7, 2014 in an article, “Your Car is About to Get Smarter than You Are.” “These new vehicles will make it easier to listen to Internet radio, get social media updates and download car fixes.”

Using 4G LTE technology, TIME reports “the cars will be able to connect to the Internet independently and utilize custom-made apps all on their own.”

It is estimated by the IHS Automotive research firm that “by 2022, more than 82 million cars globally will be connected to the Web – triple the number today.”

“Cars are really just an example of issues arising from the Internet of Things, where more and more objects are being connected,” says Kurt Opsahl, deputy executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Read more …



SmartMetric1-300x225“The majority of people who use mobile banking want their mobile devices to instantly recognize them through biometric technology rather than ID authentication such as passwords and usernames.” So states a report called “Mobile Identity – The Fusion of Financial Services, Mobile and Identity,” produced by Telstra, an Australian telecommunications and information services company.

“Consumers no longer believe in just the safety of passwords and usernames. Instead, two-thirds of U.S. consumers think that using biometrics – such as voice, fingerprint, iris and facial recognition – would be more secure and help reduce the risks of fraud.In fact, one in four U.S. consumers would even consider sharing their DNA with their financial institution, if it meant it would make authentication easier and their financial and personal information more secure,” reports Rocky Scopelliti, Global Industry Executive for Banking, Finance & Insurance at Telstra. Read more …

Transparency Through Connectivity Drives IoT

“For many organizations across various industries, the future of IoT is now. Insurance companies that track drivers’ activities to make underwriting decisions are using the Internet of Things. So are medical device companies that design their products to feed data back to healthcare providers. Industrial companies that use wireless technologies, sensors and data streams to monitor their assembly lines or field-based equipment also are capitalizing on IoT.” [Whirlpool CIO: The future of IoT demands a new IT paradigm.] Read more…

Just a handful of anonymous card transactions can reveal your identity

paying by cardIn light of the fact that 70 percent of consumer spending is done electronically (Electronic Transactions Association infographic), spending habits are ominously revealing. For instance, “just four pieces of information gleaned from a shopper’s credit card transactions can be enough to pick them out from a database of anonymous credit card records,” says an M.I.T. report published in the journal Science on Thursday, January 29, and reported at

1.1 million people were “reviewed” over a three month period “in an unnamed country at an unnamed bank.” The researchers needed only four bits of secondary information about an individual’s transactions – such as location or timing of the purchase – to identify a unique purchasing pattern for 90 per cent of the people involved.

“No names, account numbers or other obvious identifiers were involved, but each transaction was time-stamped with the day of purchase and linked to a store. Once a purchasing pattern was identified, analysts were able to find the name of the credit card holder by matching their movements to other publicly available information on LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, in Twitter messages containing time and locations information, and ‘check-ins’ on social media.”

Researchers could also tell men and women apart from how long they lingered in a store, and “separate those in higher income brackets. Ultimately, we can be identified from where or when we bought a jumper or a new pair of shoes.”

The Internet of Things Challenges what Remains of Privacy

“Many of the future predictions about privacy reflect this bleak diagnosis. If privacy isn’t dead yet, then billions-upon-billions of chips, sensors, and wearables will seal the deal.”
Gartner predicts 4.5 billion connected devices by the end of 2015; 25 billion by 2020. Privacy? What privacy? – The Guardian