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Protect from Ultrasonic cross device tracking


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#1 Alley Cat

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:48 AM

For the last 5 months, I keep hearing around Ultrasonic cross device tracking. One of these articles: https://www.wired.com/2016/11/block-ultrasonic-signals-didnt-know-tracking/ Nearly 250 Android apps use this feature already. Atleast 3 companies are creating this: SilverPush, Drawbridge, and Flurry. Is there a way to protect my laptops, desktop and tablets from this kind of tracking?

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#2 Animal

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 01:46 PM

Last half of this article: https://www.wired.com/2017/05/hundreds-apps-can-listen-beacons-cant-hear/

Fortunately it’s easy to monitor what’s accessing your phone, and stay in control if you’re wary of all this dog whistlin’.

Since you can’t stop beacons from emitting these frequencies around you, the best option is to reduce the chance that your smartphone can listen for them and feed data to a third party. The researchers suggest simply assessing the privileges you’ve granted your apps to make sure they make sense. Skype wants microphone access? Sure! An app for some clothing store? Probably not. Common sense works best here.

On Android 7, navigate to Settings, then to Apps. Tap the gear icon in the upper right, then tap App Permissions to see and edit the privileges you’ve granted each app. And on iOS 10 go to Settings, then Privacy, then Microphone to see which apps have requested access, and which ones you’ve granted it to.

Separately, researchers have also developed a beacon-blocking Chrome extension and sample Android patch in an attempt to give consumers defense tools, and raise awareness of how operating system/browser developers could build protective features. But even without these measures, it’s important that beacon tracking not just be out of earshot, out of mind. By paying attention to what apps ask you for, you can figure out a lot about what’s happening behind the scenes.


Bold text is mine for emphasis.

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