How much do we get tracked and what data really gets collected by carriers? Well we don’t know really do we, but remember the Carrier IQ saga? That brought about attention to how much carriers were interfering and what kind of data collecting was going on. If you don’t know Carrier IQ was a application loaded and installed on Android devices in the U.S. Hidden and tucked away, it detected and logged a vast range of data, from keystrokes, messages, phone call logs and tracking of your whereabouts. The Carrier IQ application was quickly gotten rid of, or denied and swept under the carpet if you like, some still use this method of data collection too. Sounding big brother like already isn’t it.
That was the U.S and over here in Europe it seems it’s not so different either. Carriers or networks if you will, have the right to store information and data from the customer. This can consist of phone calls and their record logs, and also location records for between 6 months and 2 years. Tracked and vital personal information collected by the carrier. In 2006 a directive was put in place where it gave the right to retain data and you can find it in full here – Directive 2002/58/EC. Nothing you can do and a little finding was made too recently.
A German politician by the name of Malte Spitz got wind of the new allowances that EU carriers are allowed to carry out on data collection and set about getting to the bottom of it. Deciding to contact his carrier Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), he asked for all the information that they had collected in the 6 months gone prior, refusing and refusing, he was not getting the response he was hoping for in getting his own personal data from the carrier. What did he do? He sued and got what he wanted.
They sent out a package containing a CD with data that contained 35,000 lines of code with all what was his records that got collected for the 6 months previous. Bemused and not sure what to do, Malte Spitz then got in focus and realised this was it and he needed to get help, step in Zeit Online and Open Data City.
The experts got the code and created a interactive map for Spitz and this shows Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) had been tracking al his locations and phone call for the past 6 months. Completely recorded and you can see everything recorded in the video below from there TED Talk. Very Big Brother and very totalitarian, that carriers we use and trust record our every move and step, our every voice and who we choose to evolve around with.
Check out the TED talk and it’s very fascinating to see Spitz explain his findings and journey for the truth. He reflects on if this kind of data falls into the wrong hands what could happen, something bad of course is in his mind and it’s no wonder in the world we live in today. Should we be followed and tracked everywhere we go? Well I’ll leave that argument to you the people.
1984 and Big Brother is watching you comes to my mind. Seems it’s a reality and not just fiction.
Source: TED Talk