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<title>Potential Malware
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
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<h2>Potential Malware</h2>

<p><a href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">Other examples

<div class="infobox">
<hr class="full-width" />
<p>Nonfree (proprietary) software is very often malware (designed to
mistreat the user). Nonfree software is controlled by its developers,
which puts them in a position of proprietary
malware</a></p> power over the users; <a
href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">that is the
basic injustice</a>. The developers and manufacturers often exercise
that power to the detriment of the users they ought to serve.</p>

<p>This typically takes the form of malicious functionalities.</p>
<hr class="full-width" />

<div class="article">
<div class="comment"> class="italic">
  <p>This page describes malicious techniques that proprietary
  software might use in the future for malicious purposes.  We don't
  have any evidence that they are in use yet.</p>
<div class="column-limit" id="potential-malware"></div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201903280">
    <p>Car companies are coming up with a list of clever reasons why <a
    they “have to” put cameras and microphones in the

    <p>BMW says its software does not store any driver-monitoring
    information.  If this means none of the data that come out of the
    cameras and microphones can be seen by anyone else, the cameras and
    microphones are not dangerous.  But should we trust this claim?
    The only way it can deserve rational trust is if the software is

  <li id="M201903200">
    <p>Volvo plans to <a
    install cameras inside cars</a> to monitor the driver for signs of
    impairment that could cause an accident.</p>

    <p>However, there is nothing to prevent these cameras from doing
    other things, such as biometrically identifying the driver or
    passengers, other than proprietary software which Volvo—or
    various governments and criminals—could change at any time.</p>

  <li id="M201903080">
    <p>Malware installed into the processor in a hard drive could <a
    use the disk itself as a microphone to detect speech</a>.</p>

    <p>The article refers to the “Linux operating system” but
    seems to mean <a href="/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html">GNU/Linux</a>. That
    hack would not require changing Linux itself.</p>

  <li id="M201902200">
    <p>Some portable surveillance
    devices (“phones”) now have <a
    fingerprint sensors in the display</a>. Does that imply they could
    take the fingerprint of anyone who operates the touch screen?</p>

  <li id="M201712130">
    <p>Patent applications show that Google and Amazon are interested in <a
    making “digital assistants” study people's activities to
    learn all about them</a>.</p>

    <p>AI programs would understand what people say to each other,
    observe the clothing they wear and the objects they carry (including
    the marketing messages on them), and use sound to track people's
    activities, including in the toilet or in bed.</p>

    <p>It should be illegal to have such a device in your apartment
    without getting signed consent from the people that live in the other
    apartments in the building.</p>

  <li id="M201708160">
    <p>Any device that has a microphone and a speaker could be <a
    into a sonar system that would track the movements of people in the
    same room or other rooms nearby</a>.</p>

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<p class="unprintable">Updated:
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$Date: 2020/06/24 05:37:10 $
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