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<title>Proprietary Surveillance - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
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<h2>Proprietary
<!--#include virtual="/proprietary/proprietary-menu.html" -->
<div class="article">
<p class="edu-breadcrumb">
<a href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">Proprietary malware</a> →
Surveillance</p>
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<h2 id="main-heading">Proprietary Surveillance</h2>

<div id="about-dir">
<hr class="thin" />
<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 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>

<div  class="announcement">

<p>This document attempts to
track <strong>clearly established cases of proprietary software that
spies on or tracks users</strong>.</p>

<p><a href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">
   Other examples typically takes the form of proprietary malware</a></p> malicious functionalities.</p>
<hr class="thin" />
</div>

<div id="surveillance">

<div class="pict medium"> id="surveillance" class="pict">
<a href="/graphics/dog.html">
<img src="/graphics/dog.small.jpg" alt="Cartoon of a dog, wondering at the three ads that popped up on his computer screen..." /></a>
<p>“How did they find out I'm a dog?”</p>
</div>

<div class="toc"> id="about-page">
<p>A common malicious functionality is to snoop on the user.  This page
records <strong>clearly established cases of proprietary software that
spies on or tracks users</strong>.  Manufacturers even refuse
to <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/19/smart-home-devices-hoard-data-government-demands/">say
whether they snoop on users for the state</a>.</p>

<p>All appliances and applications that are tethered to a specific
server are snoopers by nature.  We do not list them here because they
have their own page: <a
href="/proprietary/proprietary-tethers.html#about-page">Proprietary
Tethers</a>.</p>
</div>

<div class="important" style="clear: both">
<p>If you know of an example that ought to be in this page but isn't
here, please write
to <a href="mailto:webmasters@gnu.org"><webmasters@gnu.org></a>
to inform us. Please include the URL of a trustworthy reference or two
to serve as specific substantiation.</p>
</div>

<div id="TOC">
    <h3 id="TableOfContents">Table of Contents</h3>
  <ul>
    <li><a href="#Introduction">Introduction</a></li>
    <li><a
    <h4><a href="#Introduction">Introduction</a></h4>
    <h4><a href="#OSSpyware">Spyware in Operating Systems</a> Laptops and Desktops</a></h4>
    <ul>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInWindows">Spyware in Windows</a></li> href="#SpywareInWindows">Windows</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInMacOS">Spyware in MacOS</a></li> href="#SpywareInMacOS">MacOS</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInAndroid">Spyware in Android</a></li> href="#SpywareInBIOS">BIOS</a></li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    <li><a
    <h4><a href="#SpywareOnMobiles">Spyware on Mobiles</a> Mobiles</a></h4>
    <ul>
      <li><a href="#SpywareIniThings">Spyware in iThings</a></li> href="#SpywareInTelephones">All “Smart” Phones</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInTelephones">Spyware in Telephones</a></li> href="#SpywareIniThings">iThings</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInMobileApps">Spyware in Mobile Applications</a></li> href="#SpywareInAndroid">Android Telephones</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInGames">Spyware href="#SpywareInElectronicReaders">E-Readers</a></li>
     </ul>
    <h4><a href="#SpywareInApplications">Spyware in Games</a></li> Applications</a></h4>
    <ul>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInToys">Spyware in Toys</a></li>
      </ul>
    </li> href="#SpywareInDesktopApps">Desktop Apps</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareAtLowLevel">Spyware at Low Level</a>
      <ul> href="#SpywareInMobileApps">Mobile Apps</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInBIOS">Spyware in BIOS</a></li>
    <!-- href="#SpywareInSkype">Skype</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInFirmware">Spyware in Firmware</a></li> --> href="#SpywareInGames">Games</a></li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    <li><a href="#SpywareAtWork">Spyware at Work</a>
    <h4><a href="#SpywareInEquipment">Spyware in Connected Equipment</a></h4>
    <ul>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInSkype">Spyware in Skype</a></li>
      </ul>
    </li> href="#SpywareInTVSets">TV Sets</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareOnTheRoad">Spyware on the Road</a>
      <ul> href="#SpywareInCameras">Cameras</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInCameras">Spyware in Cameras</a></li> href="#SpywareInToys">Toys</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInElectronicReaders">Spyware in e-Readers</a></li> href="#SpywareInDrones">Drones</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInVehicles">Spyware in Vehicles</a></li>
      </ul>
    </li> href="#SpywareAtHome">Other Appliances</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareAtHome">Spyware at Home</a> href="#SpywareOnWearables">Wearables</a>
        <ul>
          <li><a href="#SpywareInTVSets">Spyware in TV Sets</a></li> href="#SpywareOnSmartWatches">“Smart” Watches</a></li>
        </ul>
      </li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareAtPlay">Spyware at Play</a></li> href="#SpywareInVehicles">Vehicles</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInVR">Virtual Reality</a></li>
    </ul>
    <h4><a href="#SpywareOnTheWeb">Spyware on the Web</a> Web</a></h4>
    <ul>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInChrome">Spyware in Chrome</a></li>
        <li><a href="#SpywareInFlash">Spyware in Flash</a></li>
      </ul>
    </li> href="#SpywareInChrome">Chrome</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareEverywhere">Spyware Everywhere</a></li> href="#SpywareInJavaScript">JavaScript</a></li>
      <li><a href="#SpywareInVR">Spyware In VR</a></li> href="#SpywareInFlash">Flash</a></li>
    </ul>
    <h4><a href="#SpywareInNetworks">Spyware in Networks</a></h4>
</div>

</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<!-- #Introduction -->

<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="Introduction">Introduction</h3>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<p>For decades, the Free Software movement has been denouncing the
abusive surveillance machine of
<a href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">proprietary software</a>
companies such as
<a href="/proprietary/malware-microsoft.html">Microsoft</a>
and
<a href="/proprietary/malware-apple.html">Apple</a>.

In the recent years, this tendency to watch people has spread across
industries, not only in the software business, but also in the
hardware.  Moreover, it also spread dramatically away from the
keyboard, in the mobile computing industry, in the office, at home, in
transportation systems, and in the classroom.</p>

<h3

<h4 id="AggregateInfoCollection">Aggregate Information Collection</h3> or anonymized data</h4>

<p>Many companies, in their privacy policy, have a clause that claims
they share aggregate, non-personally identifiable information with
third parties/partners. Such claims are worthless, for several
reasons:</p>

<ul>
    <li>They could change the policy at any time.</li>
    <li>They can twist the words by distributing an “aggregate” of
        “anonymized” data which can be reidentified and attributed to
        individuals.</li>
    <li>The raw data they don't normally distribute can be taken by
        data breaches.</li>
    <li>The raw data they don't normally distribute can be taken by
        subpoena.</li>
</ul>

<p>Therefore, we must never pay any attention to not be distracted by companies' statements of
what companies say they will <em>do</em> with the data they collect. The wrong is that
they collect it at all.</p>

<h3

<h4 id="LatestAdditions">Latest additions</h3>

<p>Latest additions additions</h4>

<p>Entries in each category are found in reverse chronological order, based
on top under each category.</p>

<!-- #OSSpyware -->
<!-- WEBMASTERS: make sure to place new items the dates of publication of linked articles.
The latest additions are listed on top under each subsection --> the <a
href="/proprietary/proprietary.html#latest">main page</a> of the
Malware section.</p>



<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="OSSpyware">Spyware in Operating Systems</h3> Laptops and Desktops</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#OSSpyware">#OSSpyware</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInWindows">Spyware in Windows</h4> id="SpywareInWindows">Windows</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInWindows">#SpywareInWindows</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p>By

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201712110">
    <p>HP's proprietary operating system <a
    href="http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42309371">includes a
    proprietary keyboard driver with a key logger in it</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201710134">
    <p>Windows 10 telemetry program sends information to Microsoft about
    the user's computer and their use of the computer.</p>

    <p>Furthermore, for users who installed the
    fourth stable build of Windows 10, called the
    “Creators Update,” Windows maximized the surveillance <a
    href="https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/10/dutch-privacy-regulator-says-that-windows-10-breaks-the-law">
    by force setting the telemetry mode to “Full”</a>.</p>

    <p>The <a
    href="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/privacy/configure-windows-diagnostic-data-in-your-organization#full-level">
    “Full” telemetry mode</a> allows Microsoft Windows
    engineers to access, among other things, registry keys <a
    href="https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc939702.aspx">which
    can contain sensitive information like administrator's login
    password</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201702020">
    <p>DRM-restricted files can be used to <a
    href="https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/02/02/231229/windows-drm-protected-files-used-to-decloak-tor-browser-users">
    identify people browsing through Tor</a>. The vulnerability exists
    only if you use Windows.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201611240">
    <p>By default, Windows 10 <a
    href="http://betanews.com/2016/11/24/microsoft-shares-windows-10-telemetry-data-with-third-parties">sends
    debugging information to Microsoft, including core dumps</a>. Microsoft
    now distributes them to another company.</p></li>

  <li><p>Some portable phones <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/kryptowire-discovered-mobile-phone-firmware-that-transmitted-personally-identifiable-information-pii-without-user-consent-or-disclosure-300362844.html">are
      sold with spyware sending lots of data to China</a>.</p></li>

<li>In company.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201608170.1">
    <p>In order to increase Windows 10's install base, Microsoft <a class="not-a-duplicate" 
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/windows-10-microsoft-blatantly-disregards-user-choice-and-privacy-deep-dive">
    blatantly disregards user choice and privacy</a>. privacy</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a

  <li id="M201603170">
    <p><a
    href="https://duo.com/blog/bring-your-own-dilemma-oem-laptops-and-windows-10-security">
    Windows 10 comes with 13 screens of snooping options</a>, all enabled
    by default, and turning them off would be daunting to most users.</p></li>

  <li><p><a href="https://theintercept.com/2015/12/28/recently-bought-a-windows-computer-microsoft-probably-has-your-encryption-key/">
      Microsoft has already backdoored its disk encryption</a>.</p></li>

  <li>It users.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201601050">
    <p>It appears <a
    href="http://www.ghacks.net/2016/01/05/microsoft-may-be-collecting-more-data-than-initially-thought/">
    Windows 10 sends data to Microsoft about what applications are 
      running</a>.</li>
  <li><p>A
    running</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201512280">
    <p>Microsoft has <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2015/12/28/recently-bought-a-windows-computer-microsoft-probably-has-your-encryption-key/">
    backdoored its disk encryption</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201511264">
    <p>A downgrade to Windows 10 deleted surveillance-detection
    applications.  Then another downgrade inserted a general spying
    program.  Users noticed this and complained, so Microsoft renamed it <a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160407082751/http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/26/microsoft_renamed_data_slurper_reinserted_windows_10/">
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/26/microsoft_renamed_data_slurper_reinserted_windows_10/">
    to give users the impression it was gone</a>.</p>

    <p>To use proprietary software is to invite such treatment.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>

  <li id="M201508180">
    <p><a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20150905163414/http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/134954-cortana-is-always-listening-with-new-wake-on-voice-tech-even-when-windows-10-is-sleeping">
    Intel devices will be able to listen for speech all the time, even
    when “off.”</a></p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201508130">
    <p><a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/even-when-told-not-to-windows-10-just-cant-stop-talking-to-microsoft/">
    Windows 10 sends identifiable information to Microsoft</a>, even if
    a user turns off its Bing search and Cortana features, and activates
    the privacy-protection settings.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201507300">
    <p>Windows 10 <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20151001035410/https://jonathan.porta.codes/2015/07/30/windows-10-seems-to-have-some-scary-privacy-defaults/">
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20180923125732/https://jonathan.porta.codes/2015/07/30/windows-10-seems-to-have-some-scary-privacy-defaults/">
    ships with default settings that show no regard for the privacy of
    its users</a>, giving Microsoft the “right” to snoop on
    the users' files, text input, voice input, location info, contacts,
    calendar records and web browsing history, as well as automatically
    connecting the machines to open hotspots and showing targeted ads.</p></li>

  <li><p>
  <a href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/even-when-told-not-to-windows-10-just-cant-stop-talking-to-microsoft/">
  Windows 10 sends identifiable information to Microsoft</a>, even if a user
  turns off its Bing search and Cortana features, and activates the
  privacy-protection settings.</p></li>

  <li><p> ads.</p>

    <p>We can suppose Microsoft look at users' files for the US government
    on demand, though the “privacy policy” does not explicitly
    say so. Will it look at users' files for the Chinese government
    on demand?</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201506170">
    <p>Microsoft uses Windows 10's “privacy policy”
    to overtly impose a “right” to look at
    users' files at any time. Windows 10 full disk encryption <a
    href="https://edri.org/microsofts-new-small-print-how-your-personal-data-abused/">
    gives Microsoft a key</a>.</p>

    <p>Thus, Windows is overt malware in regard to surveillance, as in
    other issues.</p>

    <p>We can suppose Microsoft look at users' files for the US government
    on demand, though the “privacy policy” does not explicit
    say so. Will it look at users' files for the Chinese government
    on demand?</p>

    <p>The unique “advertising ID” for each user enables
    other companies to track the browsing of each specific user.</p>

    <p>It's as if Microsoft has deliberately chosen to make Windows 10
    maximally evil on every dimension; to make a grab for total power
    over anyone that doesn't drop Windows now.</p></li>

  <li><p>It now.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201410040">
    <p>It only gets worse with time.  <a
    href="http://www.techworm.net/2014/10/microsofts-windows-10-permission-watch-every-move.html">
    Windows 10 requires users to give permission for total snooping</a>,
    including their files, their commands, their text input, and their
    voice input.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.infoworld.com/article/2611451/microsoft-windows/a-look-at-the-black-underbelly-of-windows-8-1--blue-.html">

  <li id="M201401150">
    <p id="baidu-ime"><a
    href="https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/asian-technology/japanese-government-warns-baidu-ime-is-spying-on-users/">
    Baidu's Japanese-input and Chinese-input apps spy on users</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201307080">
    <p>Spyware in older versions of Windows: <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/02/28/windows_update_keeps_tabs/">
    Windows Update snoops on the user</a>. <a
    href="https://www.infoworld.com/article/2611451/a-look-at-the-black-underbelly-of-windows-8-1--blue-.html">
    Windows 8.1 snoops on local searches.</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>And searches</a>. And there's a <a
    href="http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article40836.html"> secret NSA
    key in Windows</a>, whose functions we don't know.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<p>Microsoft's snooping on users did not start with Windows 10.
   There's a lot more <a href="/proprietary/malware-microsoft.html">
   Microsoft malware</a>.</p>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInMacOS">Spyware in MacOS</h4> id="SpywareInMacOS">MacOS</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInMacOS">#SpywareInMacOS</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/10/30/how-one-mans-private-files-ended-up-on-apples-icloud-without-his-consent/">

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201809070">
    <p>Adware Doctor, an ad blocker for MacOS, <a
    href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/wjye8x/mac-anti-adware-doctor-app-steals-browsing-history">reports
    the user's browsing history</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201411040">
    <p>Apple has made various <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/04/apple-data-privacy-icloud">
    MacOS automatically sends to Apple servers unsaved documents being
      edited</a>. The <a
      href="https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/10/apple_copies_yo.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter/">
      things you have not decided to save are even more sensitive than
      the things you have stored in files</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Apple has made various
      <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/04/apple-data-privacy-icloud">
      MacOS programs send files programs send files to Apple servers without asking
    permission</a>.  This exposes the files to Big Brother and perhaps
    to other snoops.</p>

    <p>It also demonstrates how you can't trust proprietary software,
    because even if today's version doesn't have a malicious functionality,
    tomorrow's version might add it. The developer won't remove the
    malfeature unless many users push back hard, and the users can't
    remove it themselves.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Various operations in
      <a href="http://lifehacker.com/safari-and-spotlight-can-send-data-to-apple-heres-how-1648453540">
      the latest

  <li id="M201410300">
    <p> MacOS send reports automatically <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170831144456/https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2014/10/30/how-one-mans-private-files-ended-up-on-apples-icloud-without-his-consent/">
    sends to Apple</a> servers.</p> Apple servers unsaved documents being edited</a>. The
    things you have not decided to save are <a
    href="https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/10/apple_copies_yo.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter/">
    even more sensitive</a> than the things you have stored in files.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Apple

  <li id="M201410220">
    <p>Apple admits the <a
    href="http://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/spotlight-suggestions-in-os-x-yosemite-and-ios-are-you-staying-private/">
    spying in a search facility</a>, but there's a lot <a
    href="https://github.com/fix-macosx/yosemite-phone-home"> more snooping
    that Apple has not talked about</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a

  <li id="M201410200">
    <p>Various operations in <a
    href="http://lifehacker.com/safari-and-spotlight-can-send-data-to-apple-heres-how-1648453540">
    the latest MacOS send reports to Apple</a> servers.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201401100.1">
    <p><a
    href="http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/privacy-advocates-worry-over-new-apple-iphone-tracking-feature-161836223.html">
    Spotlight search</a> sends users' search terms to Apple.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<p>There's a lot more <a href="#SpywareIniThings">iThing spyware</a>, and
<a href="/proprietary/malware-apple.html">Apple malware</a>.</p>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <span id="SpywareAtLowLevel"></span>
  <h4 id="SpywareInAndroid">Spyware in Android</h4> id="SpywareInBIOS">BIOS</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInAndroid">#SpywareInAndroid</a>)</span> href="#SpywareInBIOS">#SpywareInBIOS</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p>More than 73% of

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201509220">
    <p><a
    href="https://www.computerworld.com/article/2984889/lenovo-collects-usage-data-on-thinkpad-thinkcentre-and-thinkstation-pcs.html">
    Lenovo stealthily installed crapware and spyware via
    BIOS</a> on Windows installs.  Note that the most popular Android apps specific
    sabotage method Lenovo used did not affect GNU/Linux; also, a
    “clean” Windows install is not really clean since <a href="http://jots.pub/a/2015103001/index.php">share personal,
  behavioral and location information</a> of their users with third parties.</p>
    href="/proprietary/malware-microsoft.html">Microsoft puts in its
    own malware</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>“Cryptic communication,” unrelated
</ul>



<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareOnMobiles">Spyware on Mobiles</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareOnMobiles">#SpywareOnMobiles</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInTelephones">All “Smart” Phones</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInTelephones">#SpywareInTelephones</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201601110">
    <p>The natural extension of monitoring
    people through “their” phones is <a
    href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2016/01/fool-activity-tracker.html">
    proprietary software to make sure they can't “fool”
    the app's functionality,
  was monitoring</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201510050">
    <p>According to Edward Snowden, <a href="http://news.mit.edu/2015/data-transferred-android-apps-hiding-1119">
  found in
    href="http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34444233">agencies can take over
    smartphones</a> by sending hidden text messages which enable
    them to turn the 500 most popular gratis Android apps</a>.</p>

  <p>The article should not have described these apps as
  “free”—they are not free software.  The clear way phones on and off, listen to say
  “zero price” is “gratis.”</p>

  <p>The article takes for granted that the usual analytics tools are
  legitimate, but microphone,
    retrieve geo-location data from the GPS, take photographs, read
    text messages, read call, location and web browsing history, and
    read the contact list. This malware is that valid?  Software developers have no right designed to
  analyze what users are doing or how.  “Analytics” tools that snoop are
  just as wrong as any other snooping.</p> disguise itself
    from investigation.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>Gratis Android apps (but

  <li id="M201311120">
    <p><a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20180816030205/http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/privacy-scandal-nsa-can-spy-on-smart-phone-data-a-920971.html">
    The NSA can tap data in smart phones, including iPhones,
    Android, and BlackBerry</a>.  While there is not much
    detail here, it seems that this does not operate via
    the universal back door that we know nearly all portable
    phones have. It may involve exploiting various bugs.  There are <a href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">free software</a>)
      connect to 100
      <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/06/free-android-apps-connect-tracking-advertising-websites">tracking and advertising</a> URLs,
      on
    href="http://www.osnews.com/story/27416/The_second_operating_system_hiding_in_every_mobile_phone">
    lots of bugs in the average.</p> phones' radio software</a>.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>Spyware is present in some Android devices when they are sold.
      Some Motorola

  <li id="M201307000">
    <p>Portable phones modify Android to with GPS <a href="http://www.beneaththewaves.net/Projects/Motorola_Is_Listening.html">
    href="http://www.aclu.org/government-location-tracking-cell-phones-gps-devices-and-license-plate-readers">
    will send personal data to Motorola</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Some manufacturers add a
      <a href="http://androidsecuritytest.com/features/logs-and-services/loggers/carrieriq/">
      hidden general surveillance package such as Carrier IQ.</a></p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-back-doors.html#samsung">
      Samsung's back door</a> provides access to any file their GPS location on the system.</p> remote command, and users cannot stop
    them</a>. (The US says it will eventually require all new portable phones
    to have GPS.)</p>
  </li>
</ul>



<!-- #SpywareOnMobiles -->
<!-- WEBMASTERS: make sure to place new items on top under each subsection -->

<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareOnMobiles">Spyware on Mobiles</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareOnMobiles">#SpywareOnMobiles</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareIniThings">Spyware in iThings</h4> id="SpywareIniThings">iThings</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareIniThings">#SpywareIniThings</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p>iPhones

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201910131">
    <p>Safari occasionally <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/11/17/iphones-secretly-send-call-history-to-apple-security-firm-says">send
      lots of personal
    href="https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2019/10/13/dear-apple-safe-browsing-might-not-be-that-safe/">
    sends browsing data to Apple's servers</a>.  Big Brother can
        get them from there.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>The iMessage app on iThings <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/09/28/apple-logs-your-imessage-contacts-and-may-share-them-with-police/">tells
        a server every phone number Apple devices in China to the Tencent Safe
    Browsing service</a>, to check URLs that possibly correspond to
    “fraudulent” websites. Since Tencent collaborates
    with the user types into it</a>; Chinese government, its Safe Browsing black list most certainly
    contains the server records these numbers for at least 30
        days.</p> websites of political opponents. By linking the requests
    originating from single IP addresses, the government can identify
    dissenters in China and Hong Kong, thus endangering their lives.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Users cannot make an Apple ID

  <li id="M201905280">
    <p>In spite of Apple's supposed commitment to
    privacy, iPhone apps contain trackers that are busy at night <a href="http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/49951/how-can-i-download-free-apps-without-registering-an-apple-idcool">(necessary
    href="https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2019/05/its-3-am-do-you-know-who-your-iphone-is-talking-to.html">
    sending users' personal information to install even gratis apps)</a>
      without giving a valid third parties</a>.</p>

    <p>The article mentions specific examples: Microsoft OneDrive,
    Intuit’s Mint, Nike, Spotify, The Washington Post, The Weather
    Channel (owned by IBM), the crime-alert service Citizen, Yelp
    and DoorDash. But it is likely that most nonfree apps contain
    trackers. Some of these send personally identifying data such as phone
    fingerprint, exact location, email address, phone number or even
    delivery address (in the case of DoorDash). Once this information
    is collected by the company, there is no telling what it will be
    used for.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201711250">
    <p>The DMCA and receiving the code EU Copyright Directive make it <a
    href="https://boingboing.net/2017/11/25/la-la-la-cant-hear-you.html">
    illegal to study how iOS cr…apps spy on users</a>, because
    this would require circumventing the iOS DRM.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201709210">
    <p>In the latest iThings system,
    “turning off” WiFi and Bluetooth the obvious way <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/21/ios-11-apple-toggling-wifi-bluetooth-control-centre-doesnt-turn-them-off">
    doesn't really turn them off</a>.  A more advanced way really does turn
    them off—only until 5am.  That's Apple
      sends for you—“We
    know you want to it.</p> be spied on”.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Around 47% of

  <li id="M201702150">
    <p>Apple proposes <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/15/apple-removing-iphone-home-button-fingerprint-scanning-screen">a
    fingerprint-scanning touch screen</a>—which would mean no way
    to use it without having your fingerprints taken. Users would have
    no way to tell whether the most popular iOS apps phone is snooping on them.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201611170">
    <p>iPhones <a href="http://jots.pub/a/2015103001/index.php">share personal,
  behavioral and location information</a>
    href="https://theintercept.com/2016/11/17/iphones-secretly-send-call-history-to-apple-security-firm-says/">send
    lots of their users with third parties.</p> personal data to Apple's servers</a>.  Big Brother can get
    them from there.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201609280">
    <p>The iMessage app on iThings <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2016/09/28/apple-logs-your-imessage-contacts-and-may-share-them-with-police/">tells
    a server every phone number that the user types into it</a>; the
    server records these numbers for at least 30 days.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>iThings

  <li id="M201509240">
    <p>iThings automatically upload to Apple's servers all the photos
    and videos they make.</p>

    <blockquote><p> iCloud Photo Library stores every photo and video you
    take, and keeps them up to date on all your devices. Any edits you
    make are automatically updated everywhere. [...] […] </p></blockquote>

    <p>(From <a href="https://www.apple.com/icloud/photos/">Apple's iCloud
    information</a> as accessed on 24 Sep 2015.) The iCloud feature is
    <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202033">activated by the
    startup of iOS</a>. The term “cloud” means “please
    don't ask where.”</p>

    <p>There is a way to
    <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201104"> deactivate
    iCloud</a>, but it's active by default so it still counts as a
    surveillance functionality.</p>

    <p>Unknown people apparently took advantage of this to <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/01/naked-celebrity-hack-icloud-backup-jennifer-lawrence">get
    nude photos of many celebrities</a>. They needed to break Apple's
    security to get at them, but NSA can access any of them through <a href="/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html#digitalcash">PRISM</a>.
  </p></li>

  <li><p>Spyware in iThings:
      the <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/privacy-advocates-worry-over-new-apple-iphone-tracking-feature-161836223.html">
      iBeacon</a> lets stores determine exactly where the iThing is,
      and get other info too.</p>
    href="/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html#digitalcash">PRISM</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>There is also a feature for web sites to track users, which is
      <a href="http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/10/17/how-to-disable-apple-ios-user-tracking-ios-6/">
      enabled by default</a>.  (That article talks about iOS 6, but it
      is still true in iOS 7.)</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>The iThing also
      <a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160313215042/http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/08/ios7_tracking_now_its_a_favourite_feature/">
      tells Apple its geolocation</a> by default, though that can be
      turned off.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Apple can, and regularly does,

  <li id="M201409220">
    <p>Apple can, and regularly does, <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/05/new-guidelines-outline-what-iphone-data-apple-can-give-to-police/">
    remotely extract some data from iPhones for the state</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-30/how-nsa-hacks-your-iphone-presenting-dropout-jeep">
      Either

    <p>This may have improved with <a
    href="https://www.denverpost.com/2014/09/17/apple-will-no-longer-unlock-most-iphones-ipads-for-police/">
    iOS 8 security improvements</a>; but <a
    href="https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/22/apple-data/">
    not as much as Apple helps the NSA snoop on all the data in an iThing,
      or it is totally incompetent.</a></p> claims</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a

  <li id="M201407230">
    <p><a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/23/iphone-backdoors-surveillance-forensic-services">
    Several “features” of iOS seem to exist
    for no possible purpose other than surveillance</a>.  Here is the <a
    href="http://www.zdziarski.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/iOS_Backdoors_Attack_Points_Surveillance_Mechanisms_Moved.pdf">
    Technical presentation</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201401100">
    <p>The <a class="not-a-duplicate"
    href="http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/privacy-advocates-worry-over-new-apple-iphone-tracking-feature-161836223.html">
    iBeacon</a> lets stores determine exactly where the iThing is, and
    get other info too.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201312300">
    <p><a
    href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-30/how-nsa-hacks-your-iphone-presenting-dropout-jeep">
    Either Apple helps the NSA snoop on all the data in an iThing, or it
    is totally incompetent</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201308080">
    <p>The iThing also <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/08/ios7_tracking_now_its_a_favourite_feature/">
    tells Apple its geolocation</a> by default, though that can be
    turned off.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201210170">
    <p>There is also a feature for web sites to track users, which is <a
    href="http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/10/17/how-to-disable-apple-ios-user-tracking-ios-6/">
    enabled by default</a>.  (That article talks about iOS 6, but it is
    still true in iOS 7.)</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201204280">
    <p>Users cannot make an Apple ID (<a
    href="https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/49951/how-can-i-download-free-apps-without-registering-an-apple-id">necessary
    to install even gratis apps</a>) without giving a valid
    email address and receiving the verification code Apple sends
    to it.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInTelephones">Spyware in id="SpywareInAndroid">Android Telephones</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInTelephones">#SpywareInTelephones</a>)</span> href="#SpywareInAndroid">#SpywareInAndroid</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p>According

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201812060">
    <p>Facebook's app got “consent” to Edward Snowden, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34444233">agencies can take over smartphones</a>
      by sending hidden text messages which enable them to turn
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/06/facebook-emails-reveal-discussions-over-call-log-consent">
    upload call logs automatically from Android phones</a> while disguising
    what the phones
      on and off, listen “consent” was for.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201811230">
    <p>An Android phone was observed to track location even while
    in airplane mode. It didn't send the microphone, retrieve geo-location location data from while in
    airplane mode.  Instead, <a
    href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/7811918/google-is-tracking-you-even-with-airplane-mode-turned-on/">
    it saved up the
      GPS, take photographs, read text messages, read call, location and web
      browsing history, data, and read the contact list. This malware is designed to
      disguise sent them all later</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201711210">
    <p>Android tracks location for Google <a
    href="https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20171121/09030238658/investigation-finds-google-collected-location-data-even-with-location-services-turned-off.shtml">
    even when “location services” are turned off, even when
    the phone has no SIM card</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201611150">
    <p>Some portable phones <a
    href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/kryptowire-discovered-mobile-phone-firmware-that-transmitted-personally-identifiable-information-pii-without-user-consent-or-disclosure-300362844.html">are
    sold with spyware sending lots of data to China</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201609140">
    <p>Google Play (a component of Android) <a
    href="https://www.extremetech.com/mobile/235594-yes-google-play-is-tracking-you-and-thats-just-the-tip-of-a-very-large-iceberg">
    tracks the users' movements without their permission</a>.</p>

    <p>Even if you disable Google Maps and location tracking, you must
    disable Google Play itself from investigation.</p> to completely stop the tracking.  This is
    yet another example of nonfree software pretending to obey the user,
    when it's actually doing something else.  Such a thing would be almost
    unthinkable with free software.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Samsung

  <li id="M201507030">
    <p>Samsung phones come with <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/07/samsung-sued-for-loading-devices-with-unremovable-crapware-in-china/">apps
    that users can't delete</a>, and they send so much data that their
    transmission is a substantial expense for users.  Said transmission,
    not wanted or requested by the user, clearly must constitute spying
    of some
      kind.</p></li>

  <li><p>A Motorola phone
      <a href="http://www.itproportal.com/2013/07/25/motorolas-new-x8-arm-chip-underpinning-the-always-on-future-of-android/">
      listens for voice all kind.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201403120">
    <p><a href="/proprietary/proprietary-back-doors.html#samsung">
    Samsung's back door</a> provides access to any file on the time</a>.</p> system.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Spyware

  <li id="M201308010">
    <p>Spyware in Android phones (and Windows? laptops): The Wall Street
    Journal (in an article blocked from us by a paywall) reports that <a
    href="http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/1/4580718/fbi-can-remotely-activate-android-and-laptop-microphones-reports-wsj">
    the FBI can remotely activate the GPS and microphone in Android phones
    and laptops</a>.
      (I suspect this means laptops</a> (presumably Windows laptops.) laptops).  Here is <a
    href="http://cryptome.org/2013/08/fbi-hackers.htm">more info</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Portable phones with GPS will send their GPS location on
      remote command and users cannot stop them:
      <a href="http://www.aclu.org/government-location-tracking-cell-phones-gps-devices-and-license-plate-readers">
      http://www.aclu.org/government-location-tracking-cell-phones-gps-devices-and-license-plate-readers</a>.
      (The US says it will eventually require all new portable phones
      to have GPS.)</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>The nonfree Snapchat app's principal purpose

  <li id="M201307280">
    <p>Spyware is to restrict
      the present in some Android devices when they are
    sold.  Some Motorola phones, made when this company was owned
    by Google, use a modified version of data on the user's computer, but it does surveillance
      too: Android that <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/dec/27/snapchat-may-be-exposed-hackers">
      it tries
    href="http://www.beneaththewaves.net/Projects/Motorola_Is_Listening.html">
    sends personal data to get the user's list of other people's phone
      numbers.</a></p> Motorola</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInMobileApps">Spyware in Mobile Applications</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInMobileApps">#SpywareInMobileApps</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>

  <li><p>The Uber app tracks

  <li id="M201307250">
    <p>A Motorola phone <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/28/uber-background-location-data-collection/">clients'
        movements before and after the ride</a>.</p>

        <p>This example illustrates how “getting the user's consent”
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170629175629/http://www.itproportal.com/2013/07/25/motorolas-new-x8-arm-chip-underpinning-the-always-on-future-of-android/">
    listens for surveillance is inadequate as a protection against massive
        surveillance.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Google's new voice messaging app <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/21/12994362/allo-privacy-message-logs-google">logs all conversations</a>.</p> the time</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Apps that include

  <li id="M201302150">
    <p>Google Play intentionally sends app developers <a href="http://techaeris.com/2016/01/13/symphony-advanced-media-software-tracks-your-digital-life-through-your-smartphone-mic/">
      Symphony surveillance software snoop on what radio and TV programs 
      are playing nearby</a>.  Also on what users post on various sites 
      such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Facebook's new Magic Photo app
      <a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160605165148/http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/10/facebook_scans_camera_for_your_friends/">
scans your mobile phone's photo collections for known faces</a>,
      and suggests you to share the picture you take according to who
      is in
    href="http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/google-play-store-policy-raises-privacy-concerns-331116">
    the frame.</p>

      <p>This spyware feature seems to require online access to some
      known-faces database, which means personal details of users that install the pictures are likely to be
      sent across app</a>.</p>

    <p>Merely asking the wire to Facebook's servers and face-recognition
      algorithms.</p>

      <p>If so, none “consent” of Facebook users' pictures are private
      anymore, even if the user didn't “upload” them users is not enough to the service.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Like
    legitimize actions like this.  At this point, most “music screaming” disservices, Spotify
      is based on proprietary malware (DRM and snooping). In August
      2015 it <a
href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/aug/21/spotify-faces-user-backlash-over-new-privacy-policy">
      demanded users submit to increased snooping</a>, and some
      are starting to realize that it is nasty.</p>

      <p>This article shows have stopped
    reading the <a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160313214751/http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/21/spotify_worse_than_the_nsa/">
      twisted ways “Terms and Conditions” that spell out what
    they present snooping as a way
      to “serve” users better</a>—never mind
      whether they want that. This is a typical example of are “consenting” to.  Google should clearly and
    honestly identify the attitude information it collects on users, instead of the proprietary software industry towards
      those they have subjugated.</p>

      <p>Out, out, damned Spotify!</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>Many proprietary apps for mobile devices report which
    hiding it in an obscurely worded EULA.</p>

    <p>However, to truly protect people's privacy, we must prevent Google
    and other
    apps the user has
    installed.  <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/26/twitter-app-graph/">Twitter
    is doing companies from getting this personal information in a way that at least is visible and
    optional</a>. Not as bad as what the others do.</p>
    first place!</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>FTC says most mobile apps for children don't respect privacy:

  <li id="M201111170">
    <p>Some manufacturers add a <a href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/ftc-disclosures-severely-lacking-in-kids-mobile-appsand-its-getting-worse/">
      http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/ftc-disclosures-severely-lacking-in-kids-mobile-appsand-its-getting-worse/</a>.</p>
    href="http://androidsecuritytest.com/features/logs-and-services/loggers/carrieriq/">
    hidden general surveillance package such as Carrier IQ</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Widely used
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInElectronicReaders">E-Readers</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInElectronicReaders">#SpywareInElectronicReaders</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201603080">
    <p>E-books can contain JavaScript code, and <a href="https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/kollarssmith/scan-this-or-scan-me-user-privacy-barcode-scanning-applications/">proprietary
      QR-code scanner apps snoop
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/08/men-make-up-their-minds-about-books-faster-than-women-study-finds">
    sometimes this code snoops on readers</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201410080">
    <p>Adobe made “Digital Editions,”
    the user</a>. This is in addition to
      the snooping done by the phone company, and perhaps by the OS in the
      phone.</p>

      <p>Don't be distracted e-reader used by the question most US libraries, <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20141220181015/http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/drm-strikes-again-3575860/">
    send lots of whether the app developers get
      users data to say “I agree”. That is no excuse for malware.</p> Adobe</a>.  Adobe's “excuse”: it's
    needed to check DRM!</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>The Brightest Flashlight app

  <li id="M201212030">
    <p>Spyware in many e-readers—not only the Kindle: <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/dec/06/android-app-50m-downloads-sent-data-advertisers">
      sends
    href="https://www.eff.org/pages/reader-privacy-chart-2012"> they
    report even which page the user data, including geolocation, for use by companies.</a></p> reads at what time</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>



<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareInApplications">Spyware in Applications</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInApplications">#SpywareInApplications</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInDesktopApps">Desktop Apps</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInDesktopApps">#SpywareInDesktopApps</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201811020">
    <p>Foundry's graphics software <a
    href="https://torrentfreak.com/software-company-fines-pirates-after-monitoring-their-computers-181102/">
    reports information to identify who is running it</a>. The result is
    often a legal threat demanding a lot of money.</p>

    <p>The FTC criticized fact that this app because is used for repression of forbidden sharing
    makes it asked the user to
      approve sending personal data to the app developer but did even more vicious.</p>

    <p>This illustrates that making unauthorized copies of nonfree software
    is not
      ask about sending it to other companies.  This shows a cure for the
      weakness injustice of nonfree software. It may avoid
    paying for the reject-it-if-you-dislike-snooping
      “solution” to surveillance: why should a flashlight
      app send any information to anyone?  A free software flashlight
      app would not.</p> nasty thing, but cannot make it less nasty.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInGames">Spyware in Games</h4> id="SpywareInMobileApps">Mobile Apps</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInGames">#SpywareInGames</a>)</span> href="#SpywareInMobileApps">#SpywareInMobileApps</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p>nVidia's proprietary GeForce Experience <a href="http://www.gamersnexus.net/industry/2672-geforce-experience-data-transfer-analysis">makes

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201910130">
    <p>The Chinese Communist Party's “Study
    the Great Nation” app requires users identify themselves and then sends personal data about them to
      nVidia servers</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Angry Birds grant it <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/world/spy-agencies-scour-phone-apps-for-personal-data.html">
      spies for companies, and the NSA takes advantage
    href="https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/chinese-app-allows-officials-access-to-100-million-users-phone-report-2115962">
    access to spy through it too</a>.
      Here's information on
      <a href="http://confabulator.blogspot.com/2012/11/analysis-of-what-information-angry.html">
      more spyware apps</a>.</p>
      <p><a href="http://www.propublica.org/article/spy-agencies-probe-angry-birds-and-other-apps-for-personal-data">
      More about NSA app spying</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInToys">Spyware the phone's microphone, photos, text messages, contacts, and
    internet history</a>, and the Android version was found to contain a
    back-door allowing developers to run any code they wish in Toys</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInToys">#SpywareInToys</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>

   <li><p>A company that makes internet-controlled vibrators the users'
    phone, as “superusers.” Downloading and using this
    app is mandatory at some workplaces.</p>

    <p>Note: The <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/14/wevibe-sex-toy-data-collection-chicago-lawsuit">is
    being sued for collecting lots
    href="http://web-old.archive.org/web/20191015005153/https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/chinese-app-on-xis-ideology-allows-data-access-to-100-million-users-phones-report-says/2019/10/11/2d53bbae-eb4d-11e9-bafb-da248f8d5734_story.html">
    Washington Post version of personal information about how
    people use it</a>.</p>

       <p>The company's statement that it anonymizes the data may be
        true, article</a> (partly obfuscated, but it doesn't really matter. If it sells the data to
    readable after copy-pasting in a
        data broker, text editor) includes a clarification
    saying that the data broker can figure out who tests were only performed on the user is.</p> Android version
    of the app, and that, according to Apple, “this kind of
    ‘superuser’ surveillance could not be conducted on
    Apple's operating system.”</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>A computerized
        vibrator

  <li id="M201909091">
    <p>The Facebook app <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/10/vibrator-phone-app-we-vibe-4-plus-bluetooth-hack">snoops
        on its
    href="https://eu.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2019/09/09/facebook-app-social-network-tracking-your-every-move/2270305001/">
    tracks users through even when it is turned off</a>, after tricking them
    into giving the proprietary control app</a>.</p>

      <p>The app reports the temperature broad permissions in order to use one of the vibrator minute by
      minute (thus, indirectly, whether it its
    functionalities.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201909090">
    <p>Some nonfree period-tracking apps including MIA Fem and Maya <a
    href="https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/meghara/period-tracker-apps-facebook-maya-mia-fem">
    send intimate details of users' lives to Facebook</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201909060">
    <p>Keeping track of who downloads a proprietary
    program is surrounded by a person's
      body), and form of surveillance.  There is a
    proprietary program for adjusting a certain telescopic rifle sight. <a
    href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2019/09/06/exclusive-feds-demand-apple-and-google-hand-over-names-of-10000-users-of-a-gun-scope-app/">
    A US prosecutor has demanded the vibration frequency.</p>

      <p>Note list of all the totally inadequate proposed response: 10,000 or more people
    who have installed it</a>.</p>

    <p>With a labeling
      standard with which manufacturers would make statements about
      their products, rather than free software which users can check
      and change.</p> program there would not be a list of who has installed
    it.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>Barbie

  <li id="M201907081">
    <p>Many unscrupulous mobile-app developers keep finding ways to <a href="http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/wi-fi-spy-barbie-records-childrens-5177673">is
    href="https://www.cnet.com/news/more-than-1000-android-apps-harvest-your-data-even-after-you-deny-permissions/">
    bypass user's settings</a>, regulations, and privacy-enhancing features
    of the operating system, in order to gather as much private data as
    they possibly can.</p>

    <p>Thus, we can't trust rules against spying.  What we can trust is
    having control over the software we run.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201907080">
    <p>Many Android apps can track
    users' movements even when the user says <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/8/20686514/android-covert-channel-permissions-data-collection-imei-ssid-location">
    not to allow them access to locations</a>.</p>

    <p>This involves an apparently unintentional weakness in Android,
    exploited intentionally by malicious apps.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201905300">
    <p>The Femm “fertility” app is secretly a <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/30/revealed-womens-fertility-app-is-funded-by-anti-abortion-campaigners">
    tool for propaganda</a> by natalist Christians.  It spreads distrust
    for contraception.</p>

    <p>It snoops on users, too, as you must expect from nonfree
    programs.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201905060">
    <p>BlizzCon 2019 imposed a <a
    href="https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/05/blizzcon-2019-tickets-revolve-around-invasive-poorly-reviewed-smartphone-app/">
    requirement to run a proprietary phone app</a> to be allowed into
    the event.</p>

    <p>This app is a spyware that can snoop on a lot of
    sensitive data, including user's location and contact list, and has <a
    href="https://old.reddit.com/r/wow/comments/bkd5ew/you_need_to_have_a_phone_to_attend_blizzcon_this/emg38xv/">
    near-complete control</a> over the phone.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201904131">
    <p>Data collected by menstrual and pregnancy monitoring apps is often <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/13/theres-a-dark-side-to-womens-health-apps-menstrual-surveillance">
    available to employers and insurance companies</a>. Even though the
    data is “anonymized and aggregated,” it can easily be
    traced back to the woman who uses the app.</p>

    <p>This has harmful implications for women's rights to equal employment
    and freedom to make their own pregnancy choices. Don't use
    these apps, even if someone offers you a reward to do so. A
    free-software app that does more or less the same thing without
    spying on you is available from <a
    href="https://search.f-droid.org/?q=menstr">F-Droid</a>, and <a
    href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2019-04-10/building-a-better-period-tracking-app-podcast">
    a new one is being developed</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201904130">
    <p>Google tracks the movements of Android phones and iPhones
    running Goggle apps, and sometimes <a
    href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/13/us/google-location-tracking-police.html">
    saves the data for years</a>.</p>

    <p>Nonfree software in the phone has to be responsible for sending
    the location data to Google.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201903251">
    <p>Many Android phones come with a huge number of <a
    href="https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/03/22/inenglish/1553244778_819882.html">
    preinstalled nonfree apps that have access to sensitive data without
    users' knowledge</a>. These hidden apps may either call home with
    the data, or pass it on to user-installed apps that have access to
    the network but no direct access to the data. This results in massive
    surveillance on which the user has absolutely no control.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201903201">
    <p>A study of 24 “health” apps found that 19 of them <a
    href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/pan9e8/health-apps-can-share-your-data-everywhere-new-study-shows">
    send sensitive personal data to third parties</a>, which can use it
    for invasive advertising or discriminating against people in poor
    medical condition.</p>

    <p>Whenever user “consent” is sought, it is buried in
    lengthy terms of service that are difficult to understand. In any case,
    “consent” is not sufficient to legitimize snooping.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201902230">
    <p>Facebook offered a convenient proprietary
    library for building mobile apps, which also <a
    href="https://boingboing.net/2019/02/23/surveillance-zucksterism.html">
    sent personal data to Facebook</a>. Lots of companies built apps that
    way and released them, apparently not realizing that all the personal
    data they collected would go to Facebook as well.</p>

    <p>It shows that no one can trust a nonfree program, not even the
    developers of other nonfree programs.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201902140">
    <p>The AppCensus database gives information on <a
    href="https://www.appcensus.mobi"> how Android apps use and
    misuse users' personal data</a>. As of March 2019, nearly
    78,000 have been analyzed, of which 24,000 (31%) transmit the <a
    href="/proprietary/proprietary-surveillance.html#M201812290">
    Advertising ID</a> to other companies, and <a
    href="https://blog.appcensus.mobi/2019/02/14/ad-ids-behaving-badly/">
    18,000 (23% of the total) link this ID to hardware identifiers</a>,
    so that users cannot escape tracking by resetting it.</p>

    <p>Collecting hardware identifiers is in apparent violation of
    Google's policies. But it seems that Google wasn't aware of it,
    and, once informed, was in no hurry to take action. This proves
    that the policies of a development platform are ineffective at
    preventing nonfree software developers from including malware in
    their programs.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201902060">
    <p>Many nonfree apps have a surveillance feature for <a
    href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/06/iphone-session-replay-screenshots/">
    recording all the users' actions</a> in interacting with the app.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201902041.1">
    <p>Twenty nine “beauty camera” apps that used to
    be on Google Play had one or more malicious functionalities, such as <a
    href="https://www.teleanalysis.com/news/national/these-29-beauty-camera-apps-steal-private-photo-29923">
    stealing users' photos</a> instead of “beautifying” them,
    pushing unwanted and often malicious ads on users, and redirecting
    them to phishing sites that stole their credentials. Furthermore,
    the user interface of most of them was designed to make uninstallation
    difficult.</p>

    <p>Users should of course uninstall these dangerous apps if they
    haven't yet, but they should also stay away from nonfree apps in
    general. <em>All</em> nonfree apps carry a potential risk because
    there is no easy way of knowing what they really do.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201902010">
    <p>An investigation of the 150 most popular
    gratis VPN apps in Google Play found that <a
    href="https://www.top10vpn.com/free-vpn-android-app-risk-index/">
    25% fail to protect their users’ privacy</a> due to DNS leaks. In
    addition, 85% feature intrusive permissions or functions in their
    source code—often used for invasive advertising—that could
    potentially also be used to spy on users. Other technical flaws were
    found as well.</p>

    <p>Moreover, a previous investigation had found that <a
    href="https://www.top10vpn.com/free-vpn-app-investigation/">half of
    the top 10 gratis VPN apps have lousy privacy policies</a>.</p>

    <p><small>(It is unfortunate that these articles talk about “free
    apps.” These apps are gratis, but they are <em>not</em> <a
    href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">free software</a>.)</small></p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201901050">
    <p>The Weather Channel app <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/04/weather-channel-app-lawsuit-location-data-selling">
    stored users' locations to the company's server</a>. The company is
    being sued, demanding that it notify the users of what it will do
    with the data.</p>

    <p>We think that lawsuit is about a side issue. What the company does
    with the data is a secondary issue. The principal wrong here is that
    the company gets that data at all.</p>

    <p><a
    href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/gy77wy/stop-using-third-party-weather-apps">
    Other weather apps</a>, including Accuweather and WeatherBug, are
    tracking people's locations.</p> 
  </li>

  <li id="M201812290">
    <p>Around 40% of gratis Android apps <a
    href="https://privacyinternational.org/report/2647/how-apps-android-share-data-facebook-report">
    report on the user's actions to Facebook</a>.</p>

    <p>Often they send the machine's “advertising ID,” so that
    Facebook can correlate the data it obtains from the same machine via
    various apps. Some of them send Facebook detailed information about
    the user's activities in the app; others only say that the user is
    using that app, but that alone is often quite informative.</p>

    <p>This spying occurs regardless of whether the user has a Facebook
    account.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201810244">
    <p>Some Android apps <a
    href="https://www.androidauthority.com/apps-uninstall-trackers-917539/amp/">
    track the phones of users that have deleted them</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201808030">
    <p>Some Google apps on Android <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/aug/13/google-location-tracking-android-iphone-mobile">
    record the user's location even when users disable “location
    tracking”</a>.</p>

    <p>There are other ways to turn off the other kinds of location
    tracking, but most users will be tricked by the misleading control.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201806110">
    <p>The Spanish football streaming app <a
    href="https://boingboing.net/2018/06/11/spanish-football-app-turns-use.html">tracks
    the user's movements and listens through the microphone</a>.</p>

    <p>This makes them act as spies for licensing enforcement.</p>

    <p>We expect it implements DRM, too—that there is no way to save
    a recording. But we can't be sure from the article.</p>

    <p>If you learn to care much less about sports, you will benefit in
    many ways. This is one more.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201804160">
    <p>More than <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/16/child-apps-games-android-us-google-play-store-data-sharing-law-privacy">50%
    of the 5,855 Android apps studied by researchers were found to snoop
    and collect information about its users</a>.  40% of the apps were
    found to insecurely snitch on its users.  Furthermore, they could
    detect only some methods of snooping, in these proprietary apps whose
    source code they cannot look at.  The other apps might be snooping
    in other ways.</p>

    <p>This is evidence that proprietary apps generally work against
    their users.  To protect their privacy and freedom, Android users
    need to get rid of the proprietary software—both proprietary
    Android by <a href="https://replicant.us">switching to Replicant</a>,
    and the proprietary apps by getting apps from the free software
    only <a href="https://f-droid.org/">F-Droid store</a> that <a
    href="https://f-droid.org/wiki/page/Antifeatures"> prominently warns
    the user if an app contains anti-features</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201804020">
    <p>Grindr collects information about <a
    href="https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/02/egregious-breach-privacy-popular-app-grindr-supplies-third-parties-users-hiv-status">
    which users are HIV-positive, then provides the information to
    companies</a>.</p>

    <p>Grindr should not have so much information about its users.
    It could be designed so that users communicate such info to each
    other but not to the server's database.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201803050">
    <p>The moviepass app and dis-service
    spy on users even more than users expected. It <a
    href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/05/moviepass-ceo-proudly-says-the-app-tracks-your-location-before-and-after-movies/">records
    where they travel before and after going to spy on children and adults.</a>.</p> a movie</a>.</p>

    <p>Don't be tracked—pay cash!</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201711240">
    <p>Tracking software in popular Android apps
    is pervasive and sometimes very clever. Some trackers can <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2017/11/24/staggering-variety-of-clandestine-trackers-found-in-popular-android-apps/">
    follow a user's movements around a physical store by noticing WiFi
    networks</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201708270">
    <p>The Sarahah app <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2017/08/27/hit-app-sarahah-quietly-uploads-your-address-book/">
    uploads all phone numbers and email addresses</a> in user's address
    book to developer's server.</p>

    <p><small>(Note that this article misuses the words
    “<a href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">free software</a>”
    referring to zero price.)</small></p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201707270">
    <p>20 dishonest Android apps recorded <a
    href="https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/07/stealthy-google-play-apps-recorded-calls-and-stole-e-mails-and-texts">phone
    calls and sent them and text messages and emails to snoopers</a>.</p>

    <p>Google did not intend to make these apps spy; on the contrary, it
    worked in various ways to prevent that, and deleted these apps after
    discovering what they did. So we cannot blame Google specifically
    for the snooping of these apps.</p>

    <p>On the other hand, Google redistributes nonfree Android apps, and
    therefore shares in the responsibility for the injustice of their being
    nonfree. It also distributes its own nonfree apps, such as Google Play,
    <a href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">which
    are malicious</a>.</p>

    <p>Could Google have done a better job of preventing apps from
    cheating? There is no systematic way for Google, or Android users,
    to inspect executable proprietary apps to see what they do.</p>

    <p>Google could demand the source code for these apps, and study
    the source code somehow to determine whether they mistreat users in
    various ways. If it did a good job of this, it could more or less
    prevent such snooping, except when the app developers are clever
    enough to outsmart the checking.</p>

    <p>But since Google itself develops malicious apps, we cannot trust
    Google to protect us. We must demand release of source code to the
    public, so we can depend on each other.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201705230">
    <p>Apps for BART <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20171124190046/https://consumerist.com/2017/05/23/passengers-say-commuter-rail-app-illegally-collects-personal-user-data/">
    snoop on users</a>.</p>

    <p>With free software apps, users could <em>make sure</em> that they
    don't snoop.</p>

    <p>With proprietary apps, one can only hope that they don't.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201705040">
    <p>A study found 234 Android apps that track users by <a
    href="https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/234-android-applications-are-currently-using-ultrasonic-beacons-to-track-users/">listening
    to ultrasound from beacons placed in stores or played by TV
    programs</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704260">
    <p>Faceapp appears to do lots of surveillance, judging by <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170426191242/https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2017/04/26/everything-thats-wrong-with-faceapp-the-latest-creepy-photo-app-for-your-face/">
    how much access it demands to personal data in the device</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704190">
    <p>Users are suing Bose for <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170423010030/https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/04/19/bose-headphones-have-been-spying-on-their-customers-lawsuit-claims/">
    distributing a spyware app for its headphones</a>.  Specifically,
    the app would record the names of the audio files users listen to
    along with the headphone's unique serial number.</p>

    <p>The suit accuses that this was done without the users' consent.
    If the fine print of the app said that users gave consent for this,
    would that make it acceptable? No way! It should be flat out <a
    href="/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html"> illegal to design
    the app to snoop at all</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704074">
    <p>Pairs of Android apps can collude
    to transmit users' personal data to servers. <a
    href="https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/04/when-apps-collude-to-steal-your-data/522177/">A
    study found tens of thousands of pairs that collude</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201703300">
    <p>Verizon <a
    href="https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/03/30/0112259/verizon-to-force-appflash-spyware-on-android-phones">
    announced an opt-in proprietary search app that it will</a> pre-install
    on some of its phones. The app will give Verizon the same information
    about the users' searches that Google normally gets when they use
    its search engine.</p>

    <p>Currently, the app is <a
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/04/update-verizons-appflash-pre-installed-spyware-still-spyware">
    being pre-installed on only one phone</a>, and the user must
    explicitly opt-in before the app takes effect. However, the app
    remains spyware—an “optional” piece of spyware is
    still spyware.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201701210">
    <p>The Meitu photo-editing app <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2017/01/21/popular-selfie-app-sending-user-data-to-china-researchers-say/">sends
    user data to a Chinese company</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201611280">
    <p>The Uber app tracks <a
    href="https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/28/uber-background-location-data-collection/">clients'
    movements before and after the ride</a>.</p>

    <p>This example illustrates how “getting the user's
    consent” for surveillance is inadequate as a protection against
    massive surveillance.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201611160">
    <p>A <a
    href="https://research.csiro.au/ng/wp-content/uploads/sites/106/2016/08/paper-1.pdf">
    research paper</a> that investigated the privacy and security of
    283 Android VPN apps concluded that “in spite of the promises
    for privacy, security, and anonymity given by the majority of VPN
    apps—millions of users may be unawarely subject to poor security
    guarantees and abusive practices inflicted by VPN apps.”</p>

    <p>Following is a non-exhaustive list, taken from the research paper,
    of some proprietary VPN apps that track users and infringe their
    privacy:</p>

    <dl class="compact">
      <dt>SurfEasy</dt>
      <dd>Includes tracking libraries such as NativeX and Appflood,
      meant to track users and show them targeted ads.</dd>

      <dt>sFly Network Booster</dt>
      <dd>Requests the <code>READ_SMS</code> and <code>SEND_SMS</code>
      permissions upon installation, meaning it has full access to users'
      text messages.</dd>

      <dt>DroidVPN and TigerVPN</dt>
      <dd>Requests the <code>READ_LOGS</code> permission to read logs
      for other apps and also core system logs. TigerVPN developers have
      confirmed this.</dd>

      <dt>HideMyAss</dt>
      <dd>Sends traffic to LinkedIn. Also, it stores detailed logs and
      may turn them over to the UK government if requested.</dd>

      <dt>VPN Services HotspotShield</dt>
      <dd>Injects JavaScript code into the HTML pages returned to the
      users. The stated purpose of the JS injection is to display ads. Uses
      roughly five tracking libraries. Also, it redirects the user's
      traffic through valueclick.com (an advertising website).</dd>

      <dt>WiFi Protector VPN</dt>
      <dd>Injects JavaScript code into HTML pages, and also uses roughly
      five tracking libraries. Developers of this app have confirmed that
      the non-premium version of the app does JavaScript injection for
      tracking the user and displaying ads.</dd>
    </dl>
  </li>

  <li id="M201609210">
    <p>Google's new voice messaging app <a
    href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/21/12994362/allo-privacy-message-logs-google">logs
    all conversations</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201606050">
    <p>Facebook's new Magic Photo app <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/10/facebook_scans_camera_for_your_friends/">
    scans your mobile phone's photo collections for known faces</a>,
    and suggests you to share the picture you take according to who is
    in the frame.</p>

    <p>This spyware feature seems to require online access to some
    known-faces database, which means the pictures are likely to be
    sent across the wire to Facebook's servers and face-recognition
    algorithms.</p>

    <p>If so, none of Facebook users' pictures are private anymore,
    even if the user didn't “upload” them to the service.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201605310">
    <p>Facebook's app listens all the time, <a
    href="http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-using-people-s-phones-to-listen-in-on-what-they-re-saying-claims-professor-a7057526.html">to
    snoop on what people are listening to or watching</a>. In addition,
    it may be analyzing people's conversations to serve them with targeted
    advertisements.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201604250">
    <p>A pregnancy test controller application not only can <a
    href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/25/11503718/first-response-pregnancy-pro-test-bluetooth-app-security">
    spy on many sorts of data in the phone, and in server accounts,
    it can alter them too</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201601130">
    <p>Apps that include <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20180913014551/http://techaeris.com/2016/01/13/symphony-advanced-media-software-tracks-your-digital-life-through-your-smartphone-mic/">
    Symphony surveillance software snoop on what radio and TV programs
    are playing nearby</a>.  Also on what users post on various sites
    such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201511190">
    <p>“Cryptic communication,”
    unrelated to the app's functionality, was <a
    href="http://news.mit.edu/2015/data-transferred-android-apps-hiding-1119">
    found in the 500 most popular gratis Android apps</a>.</p>

    <p>The article should not have described these apps as
    “free”—they are not free software.  The clear way
    to say “zero price” is “gratis.”</p>

    <p>The article takes for granted that the usual analytics tools are
    legitimate, but is that valid? Software developers have no right to
    analyze what users are doing or how.  “Analytics” tools
    that snoop are just as wrong as any other snooping.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201510300">
    <p>More than 73% and 47% of mobile applications, for Android and iOS
    respectively <a href="https://techscience.org/a/2015103001/">share
    personal, behavioral and location information</a> of their users with
    third parties.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201508210">
    <p>Like most “music screaming” disservices, Spotify is
    based on proprietary malware (DRM and snooping). In August 2015 it <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/aug/21/spotify-faces-user-backlash-over-new-privacy-policy">
    demanded users submit to increased snooping</a>, and some are starting
    to realize that it is nasty.</p>

    <p>This article shows the <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/21/spotify_worse_than_the_nsa/">
    twisted ways that they present snooping as a way to “serve”
    users better</a>—never mind whether they want that. This is a
    typical example of the attitude of the proprietary software industry
    towards those they have subjugated.</p>

    <p>Out, out, damned Spotify!</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201506264">
    <p><a
    href="http://www.privmetrics.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/wisec2015.pdf">A
    study in 2015</a> found that 90% of the top-ranked gratis proprietary
    Android apps contained recognizable tracking libraries. For the paid
    proprietary apps, it was only 60%.</p>

    <p>The article confusingly describes gratis apps as
    “free”, but most of them are not in fact <a
    href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">free software</a>.  It also uses the
    ugly word “monetize”. A good replacement for that word
    is “exploit”; nearly always that will fit perfectly.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201505060">
    <p>Gratis Android apps (but not <a
    href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">free software</a>) connect to 100 <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/06/free-android-apps-connect-tracking-advertising-websites">tracking
    and advertising</a> URLs, on the average.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201504060">
    <p>Widely used <a
    href="https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/kollarssmith/scan-this-or-scan-me-user-privacy-barcode-scanning-applications/">proprietary
    QR-code scanner apps snoop on the user</a>. This is in addition to
    the snooping done by the phone company, and perhaps by the OS in
    the phone.</p>

    <p>Don't be distracted by the question of whether the app developers
    get users to say “I agree”. That is no excuse for
    malware.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201411260">
    <p>Many proprietary apps for mobile devices
    report which other apps the user has installed.  <a
    href="http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/26/twitter-app-graph/">Twitter
    is doing this in a way that at least is visible and optional</a>. Not
    as bad as what the others do.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201401150.1">
    <p>The Simeji keyboard is a smartphone version of Baidu's <a
    href="/proprietary/proprietary-surveillance.html#baidu-ime">spying <abbr
    title="Input Method Editor">IME</abbr></a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201312270">
    <p>The nonfree Snapchat app's principal purpose is to restrict the
    use of data on the user's computer, but it does surveillance too: <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/dec/27/snapchat-may-be-exposed-hackers">
    it tries to get the user's list of other people's phone
    numbers</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201312060">
    <p>The Brightest Flashlight app <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/dec/06/android-app-50m-downloads-sent-data-advertisers">
    sends user data, including geolocation, for use by companies</a>.</p>

    <p>The FTC criticized this app because it asked the user to
    approve sending personal data to the app developer but did not ask
    about sending it to other companies.  This shows the weakness of
    the reject-it-if-you-dislike-snooping “solution” to
    surveillance: why should a flashlight app send any information to
    anyone? A free software flashlight app would not.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201212100">
    <p>FTC says most mobile apps for children don't respect privacy: <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/ftc-disclosures-severely-lacking-in-kids-mobile-appsand-its-getting-worse/">
    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/ftc-disclosures-severely-lacking-in-kids-mobile-appsand-its-getting-worse/</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInSkype">Skype</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInSkype">#SpywareInSkype</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201908151">
    <p>Skype refuses to say whether it can <a
    href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/07/20/skype_won_t_comment_on_whether_it_can_now_eavesdrop_on_conversations_.html">eavesdrop
    on calls</a>.</p>

    <p>That almost certainly means it can do so.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201307110">
    <p>Skype contains <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20130928235637/http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2013/06/20/project-chess-how-u-s-snoops-on-your-skype/">spyware</a>.
    Microsoft changed Skype <a
    href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data">
    specifically for spying</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInGames">Games</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInGames">#SpywareInGames</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201908210">
    <p>Microsoft recorded users of Xboxes and had <a
    href="https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43kv4q/microsoft-human-contractors-listened-to-xbox-owners-homes-kinect-cortana">
    human workers listen to the recordings</a>.</p>

    <p>Morally, we see no difference between having human workers listen and
    having speech-recognition systems listen.  Both intrude on privacy.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201806240">
    <p>Red Shell is a spyware that
    is found in many proprietary games. It <a
    href="https://nebulous.cloud/threads/red-shell-illegal-spyware-for-steam-games.31924/">
    tracks data on users' computers and sends it to third parties</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201804144">
    <p>ArenaNet surreptitiously installed a spyware
    program along with an update to the massive
    multiplayer game Guild Wars 2.  The spyware allowed ArenaNet <a
    href="https://techraptor.net/content/arenanet-used-spyware-anti-cheat-for-guild-wars-2-banwave">
    to snoop on all open processes running on its user's computer</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201711070">
    <p>The driver for a certain gaming keyboard <a
    href="https://thehackernews.com/2017/11/mantistek-keyboard-keylogger.html">sends
    information to China</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201512290">
    <p>Many <a
    href="http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/12/29/how-much-data-are-video-games-collecting-about-you.html/">
    video game consoles snoop on their users and report to the
    internet</a>—even what their users weigh.</p>

    <p>A game console is a computer, and you can't trust a computer with
    a nonfree operating system.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201509160">
    <p>Modern gratis game cr…apps <a
    href="http://toucharcade.com/2015/09/16/we-own-you-confessions-of-a-free-to-play-producer/">
    collect a wide range of data about their users and their users'
    friends and associates</a>.</p>

    <p>Even nastier, they do it through ad networks that merge the data
    collected by various cr…apps and sites made by different
    companies.</p>

    <p>They use this data to manipulate people to buy things, and hunt for
    “whales” who can be led to spend a lot of money. They also
    use a back door to manipulate the game play for specific players.</p>

    <p>While the article describes gratis games, games that cost money
    can use the same tactics.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201401280">
    <p>Angry Birds <a
    href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/world/spy-agencies-scour-phone-apps-for-personal-data.html">
    spies for companies, and the NSA takes advantage
    to spy through it too</a>.  Here's information on <a
    href="http://confabulator.blogspot.com/2012/11/analysis-of-what-information-angry.html">
    more spyware apps</a>.</p>

    <p><a
    href="http://www.propublica.org/article/spy-agencies-probe-angry-birds-and-other-apps-for-personal-data">
    More about NSA app spying</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200510200">
    <p>Blizzard Warden is a hidden
    “cheating-prevention” program that <a
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2005/10/new-gaming-feature-spyware">
    spies on every process running on a gamer's computer and sniffs a
    good deal of personal data</a>, including lots of activities which
    have nothing to do with cheating.</p>
  </li>
</ul>



<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareInEquipment">Spyware in Connected Equipment</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInEquipment">#SpywareInEquipment</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201708280">
    <p>The bad security in many Internet of Stings devices allows <a
    href="https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170828/08152938092/iot-devices-provide-comcast-wonderful-new-opportunity-to-spy-you.shtml">ISPs
    to snoop on the people that use them</a>.</p>

    <p>Don't be a sucker—reject all the stings.</p>

    <p><small>(It is unfortunate that the article uses the term <a
    href="/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#Monetize">“monetize”</a>.)</small></p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInTVSets">TV Sets</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInTVSets">#SpywareInTVSets</a>)</span>
</div>

<p>Emo Phillips made a joke: The other day a woman came up to me and
said, “Didn't I see you on television?” I said, “I
don't know. You can't see out the other way.” Evidently that was
before Amazon “smart” TVs.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201901070">
    <p>Vizio TVs <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/7/18172397/airplay-2-homekit-vizio-tv-bill-baxter-interview-vergecast-ces-2019">
    collect “whatever the TV sees,”</a> in the own words of the company's
    CTO, and this data is sold to third parties. This is in return for
    “better service” (meaning more intrusive ads?) and slightly
    lower retail prices.</p>

    <p>What is supposed to make this spying acceptable, according to him,
    is that it is opt-in in newer models. But since the Vizio software is
    nonfree, we don't know what is actually happening behind the scenes,
    and there is no guarantee that all future updates will leave the
    settings unchanged.</p>

    <p>If you already own a Vizio smart TV (or any smart TV, for that
    matter), the easiest way to make sure it isn't spying on you is
    to disconnect it from the Internet, and use a terrestrial antenna
    instead. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Another option,
    if you are technically oriented, is to get your own router (which can
    be an old computer running completely free software), and set up a
    firewall to block connections to Vizio's servers. Or, as a last resort,
    you can replace your TV with another model.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201804010">
    <p>Some “Smart” TVs automatically <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20180405014828/https:/twitter.com/buro9/status/980349887006076928">
    load downgrades that install a surveillance app</a>.</p>

    <p>We link to the article for the facts it presents. It
    is too bad that the article finishes by advocating the
    moral weakness of surrendering to Netflix. The Netflix app <a
    href="/proprietary/malware-google.html#netflix-app-geolocation-drm">is
    malware too</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201702060">
    <p>Vizio “smart” <a
    href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2017/02/what-vizio-was-doing-behind-tv-screen">TVs
    report everything that is viewed on them, and not just broadcasts and
    cable</a>. Even if the image is coming from the user's own computer,
    the TV reports what it is. The existence of a way to disable the
    surveillance, even if it were not hidden as it was in these TVs,
    does not legitimize the surveillance.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201511130">
    <p>Some web and TV advertisements play inaudible
    sounds to be picked up by proprietary malware running
    on other devices in range so as to determine that they
    are nearby.  Once your Internet devices are paired with
    your TV, advertisers can correlate ads with Web activity, and other <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/11/beware-of-ads-that-use-inaudible-sound-to-link-your-phone-tv-tablet-and-pc/">
    cross-device tracking</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201511060">
    <p>Vizio goes a step further than other TV
    manufacturers in spying on their users: their <a
    href="http://www.propublica.org/article/own-a-vizio-smart-tv-its-watching-you">
    “smart” TVs analyze your viewing habits in detail and
    link them your IP address</a> so that advertisers can track you
    across devices.</p>

    <p>It is possible to turn this off, but having it enabled by default
    is an injustice already.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201511020">
    <p>Tivo's alliance with Viacom adds 2.3 million households
    to the 600 millions social media profiles the company
    already monitors. Tivo customers are unaware they're
    being watched by advertisers. By combining TV viewing
    information with online social media participation, Tivo can now <a
    href="http://www.reuters.com/article/viacom-tivo-idUSL1N12U1VV20151102">
    correlate TV advertisement with online purchases</a>, exposing all
    users to new combined surveillance by default.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201507240">
    <p>Vizio “smart” TVs recognize and <a
    href="http://www.engadget.com/2015/07/24/vizio-ipo-inscape-acr/">track
    what people are watching</a>, even if it isn't a TV channel.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201505290">
    <p>Verizon cable TV <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/05/verizon-fios-reps-know-what-tv-channels-you-watch/">
    snoops on what programs people watch, and even what they wanted to
    record</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201504300">
    <p>Vizio <a
    href="http://boingboing.net/2015/04/30/telescreen-watch-vizio-adds-s.html">
    used a firmware “upgrade” to make its TVs snoop on what
    users watch</a>.  The TVs did not do that when first sold.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201502090">
    <p>The Samsung “Smart” TV <a
    href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/02/who-s-the-third-party-that-samsung-and-lg-smart-tvs-are-sharing-your-voice-data-with/index.htm">
    transmits users' voice on the internet to another company, Nuance</a>.
    Nuance can save it and would then have to give it to the US or some
    other government.</p>

    <p>Speech recognition is not to be trusted unless it is done by free
    software in your own computer.</p>

    <p>In its privacy policy, Samsung explicitly confirms that <a
    href="http://theweek.com/speedreads/538379/samsung-warns-customers-not-discuss-personal-information-front-smart-tvs">voice
    data containing sensitive information will be transmitted to third
    parties</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201411090">
    <p>The Amazon “Smart” TV is <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2014/nov/09/amazon-echo-smart-tv-watching-listening-surveillance">
    snooping all the time</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201409290">
    <p>More or less all “smart” TVs <a
    href="http://www.myce.com/news/reseachers-all-smart-tvs-spy-on-you-sony-monitors-all-channel-switches-72851/">spy
    on their users</a>.</p>

    <p>The report was as of 2014, but we don't expect this has got
    better.</p>

    <p>This shows that laws requiring products to get users' formal
    consent before collecting personal data are totally inadequate.
    And what happens if a user declines consent? Probably the TV will
    say, “Without your consent to tracking, the TV will not
    work.”</p>

    <p>Proper laws would say that TVs are not allowed to report what the
    user watches—no exceptions!</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201405200">
    <p>Spyware in LG “smart” TVs <a
    href="http://doctorbeet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/lg-smart-tvs-logging-usb-filenames-and.html">
    reports what the user watches, and the switch to turn this off has
    no effect</a>.  (The fact that the transmission reports a 404 error
    really means nothing; the server could save that data anyway.)</p> 

    <p>Even worse, it <a
    href="http://rambles.renney.me/2013/11/lg-tv-logging-filenames-from-network-folders/">
    snoops on other devices on the user's local network</a>.</p>

    <p>LG later said it had installed a patch to stop this, but any
    product could spy this way.</p>

    <p>Meanwhile, LG TVs <a
    href="http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140511/17430627199/lg-will-take-smart-out-your-smart-tv-if-you-dont-agree-to-share-your-viewing-search-data-with-third-parties.shtml">
    do lots of spying anyway</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201212170">
    <p id="break-security-smarttv"><a
    href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2249303/Hackers-penetrate-home-Crack-Samsungs-Smart-TV-allows-attacker-seize-control-microphone-cameras.html">
    Crackers found a way to break security on a “smart” TV</a>
    and use its camera to watch the people who are watching TV.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInCameras">Cameras</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInCameras">#SpywareInCameras</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201901100">
    <p>Amazon Ring “security” devices <a
    href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/01/10/ring-gave-employees-access-customer-video-feeds/">
    send the video they capture to Amazon servers</a>, which save it
    long-term.</p>

    <p>In many cases, the video shows everyone that comes near, or merely
    passes by, the user's front door.</p>

    <p>The article focuses on how Ring used to let individual employees look
    at the videos freely.  It appears Amazon has tried to prevent that
    secondary abuse, but the primary abuse—that Amazon gets the
    video—Amazon expects society to surrender to.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201810300">
    <p>Nearly all “home security cameras” <a
    href="https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/d-link-camera-poses-data-security-risk--consumer-reports-finds/">
    give the manufacturer an unencrypted copy of everything they
    see</a>. “Home insecurity camera” would be a better
    name!</p>

    <p>When Consumer Reports tested them, it suggested that these
    manufacturers promise not to look at what's in the videos. That's not
    security for your home. Security means making sure they don't get to
    see through your camera.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201603220">
    <p>Over 70 brands of network-connected surveillance cameras have <a
    href="http://www.kerneronsec.com/2016/02/remote-code-execution-in-cctv-dvrs-of.html">
    security bugs that allow anyone to watch through them</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201511250">
    <p>The Nest Cam “smart” camera is <a
    href="http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34922712">always watching</a>,
    even when the “owner” switches it “off.”</p>

    <p>A “smart” device means the manufacturer is using it
    to outsmart you.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<!-- #SpywareAtLowLevel -->
<!-- WEBMASTERS: make sure to place new items on top under each subsection -->

<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareAtLowLevel">Spyware at Low Level</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareAtLowLevel">#SpywareAtLowLevel</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInBIOS">Spyware in BIOS</h4> id="SpywareInToys">Toys</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInBIOS">#SpywareInBIOS</a>)</span> href="#SpywareInToys">#SpywareInToys</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
<li><p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201711244">
    <p>The Furby Connect has a <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2984889/windows-pcs/lenovo-collects-usage-data-on-thinkpad-thinkcentre-and-thinkstation-pcs.html">
Lenovo stealthily installed crapware and spyware via BIOS</a>
    href="https://www.contextis.com/blog/dont-feed-them-after-midnight-reverse-engineering-the-furby-connect">
    universal back door</a>. If the product as shipped doesn't act as a
    listening device, remote changes to the code could surely convert it
    into one.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201711100">
    <p>A remote-control sex toy was found to make <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/10/16634442/lovense-sex-toy-spy-survei">audio
    recordings of the conversation between two users</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201703140">
    <p>A computerized vibrator <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/10/vibrator-phone-app-we-vibe-4-plus-bluetooth-hack">
    was snooping on Windows installs.
Note its users through the proprietary control app</a>.</p>

    <p>The app was reporting the temperature of the vibrator minute by
    minute (thus, indirectly, whether it was surrounded by a person's
    body), as well as the vibration frequency.</p>

    <p>Note the totally inadequate proposed response: a labeling
    standard with which manufacturers would make statements about their
    products, rather than free software which users could have checked
    and changed.</p>

    <p>The company that made the specific sabotage method Lenovo vibrator <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/14/wevibe-sex-toy-data-collection-chicago-lawsuit">
    was sued for collecting lots of personal information about how people
    used did not affect
GNU/Linux; also, a “clean” Windows install is not it</a>.</p>

    <p>The company's statement that it was anonymizing the data may be
    true, but it doesn't really
clean since matter. If it had sold the data to a data
    broker, the data broker would have been able to figure out who the
    user was.</p>

    <p>Following this lawsuit, <a href="/proprietary/malware-microsoft.html">Microsoft
puts in its own malware</a>.
</p></li>
</ul>

<!-- #SpywareAtWork -->
<!-- WEBMASTERS: make sure
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/14/we-vibe-vibrator-tracking-users-sexual-habits">
    the company has been ordered to pay a total of C$4m</a> to its
    customers.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201702280">
    <p>“CloudPets” toys with microphones <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/28/cloudpets-data-breach-leaks-details-of-500000-children-and-adults">
    leak childrens' conversations to place new items on top under each subsection -->

<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareAtWork">Spyware at Work</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareAtWork">#SpywareAtWork</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<ul>
  <li><p>Investigation
        Shows the manufacturer</a>. Guess what? <a href="https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160602/17210734610/investigation-shows-gchq-using-us-companies-nsa-to-route-around-domestic-surveillance-restrictions.shtml">GCHQ
        Using US Companies, NSA To Route Around Domestic Surveillance
        Restrictions</a>.</p>

      <p>Specifically, it
    href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/pgwean/internet-of-things-teddy-bear-leaked-2-million-parent-and-kids-message-recordings">
    Crackers found a way to access the data</a> collected by the
    manufacturer's snooping.</p>

    <p>That the manufacturer and the FBI could listen to these
    conversations was unacceptable by itself.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201612060">
    <p>The “smart” toys My Friend Cayla and i-Que transmit <a
    href="https://www.forbrukerradet.no/siste-nytt/connected-toys-violate-consumer-laws">children's
    conversations to Nuance Communications</a>, a speech recognition
    company based in the U.S.</p>

    <p>Those toys also contain major security vulnerabilities; crackers
    can collect remotely control the emails of members of Parliament
  this way, because they pass it through Microsoft.</p></li>

  <li><p>Spyware toys with a mobile phone. This would enable
    crackers to listen in Cisco TNP IP phones: on a child's speech, and even speak into the
    toys themselves.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201502180">
    <p>Barbie <a href="http://boingboing.net/2012/12/29/your-cisco-phone-is-listening.html">
      http://boingboing.net/2012/12/29/your-cisco-phone-is-listening.html</a></p>
    href="http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/wi-fi-spy-barbie-records-childrens-5177673">is
    going to spy on children and adults</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInSkype">Spyware in Skype</h4> id="SpywareInDrones">Drones</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInSkype">#SpywareInSkype</a>)</span> href="#SpywareInDrones">#SpywareInDrones</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p>Spyware

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201708040">
    <p>While you're using a DJI drone
    to snoop on other people, DJI is in Skype:
      <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2013/06/20/project-chess-how-u-s-snoops-on-your-skype/">
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2013/06/20/project-chess-how-u-s-snoops-on-your-skype/</a>.
      Microsoft changed Skype many cases <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data">
      specifically for spying</a>.</p>
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/4/16095244/us-army-stop-using-dji-drones-cybersecurity">snooping
    on you</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>



<!-- #SpywareOnTheRoad -->
<!-- WEBMASTERS: make sure to place new items on top under each subsection -->

<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareOnTheRoad">Spyware on The Road</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareOnTheRoad">#SpywareOnTheRoad</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInCameras">Spyware in Cameras</h4>
  <span id="SpywareAtHome">Other Appliances</h4><span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInCameras">#SpywareInCameras</a>)</span> href="#SpywareAtHome">#SpywareAtHome</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li>
    <p>The Nest Cam “smart” camera is

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201907210">
    <p>Google “Assistant” records users' conversations <a
      href="http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34922712">always
        watching</a>, even
    href="https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/07/google-defends-listening-to-ok-google-queries-after-voice-recordings-leak/">even
    when the “owner” switches it “off.”</p>
    <p>A “smart” device means is not supposed to listen</a>. Thus, when one of Google's
    subcontractors discloses a thousand confidential voice recordings,
    users were easily identified from these recordings.</p>

    <p>Since Google “Assistant” uses proprietary software, there is no
    way to see or control what it records or sends.</p>

    <p>Rather than trying to better control the manufacturer use of recordings, Google
    should not record or listen to the person's voice.  It should only
    get commands that the user wants to send to some Google service.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201905061">
    <p>Amazon Alexa collects a lot more information from users
    than is using necessary for correct functioning (time, location,
    recordings made without a legitimate prompt), and sends
    it to Amazon's servers, which store it indefinitely. Even
    worse, Amazon forwards it to outsmart
      you.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInElectronicReaders">Spyware in e-Readers</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInElectronicReaders">#SpywareInElectronicReaders</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p>E-books third-party companies. Thus,
    even if users request deletion of their data from Amazon's servers, <a
    href="https://www.ctpost.com/business/article/Alexa-has-been-eavesdropping-on-you-this-whole-13822095.php">
    the data remain on other servers</a>, where they can contain Javascript code, be accessed by
    advertising companies and <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/08/men-make-up-their-minds-about-books-faster-than-women-study-finds">sometimes
    this code snoops government agencies. In other words,
    deleting the collected information doesn't cancel the wrong of
    collecting it.</p>

    <p>Data collected by devices such as the Nest thermostat, the Philips
    Hue-connected lights, the Chamberlain MyQ garage opener and the Sonos
    speakers are likewise stored longer than necessary on readers</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Spyware in many e-readers—not only the
      Kindle: <a href="https://www.eff.org/pages/reader-privacy-chart-2012">
      they report even which page servers
    the user reads at what time</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Adobe devices are tethered to. Moreover, they are made “Digital Editions,” available to
    Alexa. As a result, Amazon has a very precise picture of users' life
    at home, not only in the e-reader used
      by most US libraries,
      <a href="http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/drm-strikes-again-3575860/">
      send lots present, but in the past (and, who knows,
    in the future too?)</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201904240">
    <p>Some of data to Adobe</a>.  Adobe's “excuse”: it's
      needed users' commands to check DRM!</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInVehicles">Spyware in Vehicles</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInVehicles">#SpywareInVehicles</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
<li><p>Computerized cars with nonfree software the Alexa service are <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-12/your-car-s-been-studying-you-closely-and-everyone-wants-the-data">
  snooping devices</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>The Nissan Leaf has a built-in cell phone modem which allows
  effectively
  anyone <a href="https://www.troyhunt.com/controlling-vehicle-features-of-nissan/">to
  access its computers remotely and make changes in various
  settings</a>.</p>

    <p>That's easy
    href="https://www.smh.com.au/technology/alexa-is-someone-else-listening-to-us-sometimes-someone-is-20190411-p51d4g.html">
    recorded for Amazon employees to listen to</a>. The Google and Apple
    voice assistants do because the system has no authentication when
    accessed through similar things.</p>

    <p>A fraction of the modem.  However, Alexa service staff even if it asked for
    authentication, you couldn't be confident that Nissan has no
    access.  The software in access to <a
    href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/amazon-s-alexa-reviewers-can-access-customers-home-addresses-1.1248788">
    location and other personal data</a>.</p>

    <p>Since the car client program is
    proprietary, <a href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">which
    means it demands blind faith from its users</a>.</p>

    <p>Even if nonfree, and data processing is done
    “<a href="/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#CloudComputing">in
    the cloud</a>” (a soothing way of saying “We won't
    tell you how and where it's done”), users have no one connects way
    to the car remotely, the cell phone
    modem enables the phone company know what happens to track the car's movements all recordings unless human eavesdroppers <a
    href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/three-cheers-for-amazon-s-human-eavesdroppers-1.1243033">
    break their non-disclosure agreements</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201902080">
    <p>The HP <a
    href="https://boingboing.net/2019/02/08/inkjet-dystopias.html">
    “ink subscription” cartridges have DRM that constantly
    communicates with HP servers</a> to make sure the time; it user is possible to physically remove still
    paying for the cell phone modem
    though.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Proprietary software subscription, and hasn't printed more pages than were
    paid for.</p>

    <p>Even though the ink subscription program may be cheaper in cars
      <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/03/24/car-spying-edr-data-privacy/1991751/">records information about drivers' movements</a>,
      which is made available to car manufacturers, insurance companies, some
    specific cases, it spies on users, and
      others.</p>

      <p>The case involves totally unacceptable
    restrictions in the use of toll-collection systems, mentioned ink cartridges that would otherwise be in this article, is not
      really
    working order.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201808120">
    <p>Crackers found a matter way to break the security of proprietary surveillance. These systems are an
      intolerable invasion of privacy, Amazon device,
    and should <a href="https://boingboing.net/2018/08/12/alexa-bob-carol.html">
    turn it into a listening device</a> for them.</p>

    <p>It was very difficult for them to do this. The job would be replaced with anonymous
      payment systems, but much
    easier for Amazon. And if some government such as China or the invasion isn't done by malware. The other
      cases mentioned are done by proprietary malware in US
    told Amazon to do this, or cease to sell the car.</p></li>

  <li><p>Tesla cars allow product in that country,
    do you think Amazon would have the company moral fiber to extract say no?</p>

    <p><small>(These crackers are probably hackers too, but please <a
    href="https://stallman.org/articles/on-hacking.html"> don't use
    “hacking” to mean “breaking security”</a>.)</small></p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201804140">
    <p>A medical insurance company <a
    href="https://wolfstreet.com/2018/04/14/our-dental-insurance-sent-us-free-internet-connected-toothbrushes-and-this-is-what-happened-next">
    offers a gratis electronic toothbrush that snoops on its user by
    sending usage data remotely and
      determine back over the car's location at any time. (See Internet</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201706204">
    <p>Lots of “smart” products are designed <a href="http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/tmi_privacy_statement_external_6-14-2013_v2.pdf">
      Section 2, paragraphs b and c.</a>). The company says it doesn't
      store this information, but
    href="http://enews.cnet.com/ct/42931641:shoPz52LN:m:1:1509237774:B54C9619E39F7247C0D58117DD1C7E96:r:27417204357610908031812337994022">to
    listen to everyone in the house, all the time</a>.</p>

    <p>Today's technological practice does not include any way of making
    a device that can obey your voice commands without potentially spying
    on you.  Even if the state orders it to get the data
      and hand is air-gapped, it over, could be saving up records
    about you for later examination.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201407170">
    <p id="nest-thermometers">Nest thermometers send <a
    href="http://bgr.com/2014/07/17/google-nest-jailbreak-hack">a lot of
    data about the state can store it.</p> user</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<!-- #SpywareAtHome -->
<!-- WEBMASTERS: make sure to place new items on top under each subsection -->

<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareAtHome">Spyware at Home</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareAtHome">#SpywareAtHome</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<ul>
  <li><p><a href="http://consumerman.com/Rent-to-own%20giant%20accused%20of%20spying%20on%20its%20customers.htm">

  <li id="M201310260">
    <p><a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20180911191954/http://consumerman.com/Rent-to-own%20giant%20accused%20of%20spying%20on%20its%20customers.htm">
    Rent-to-own computers were programmed to spy on their renters</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInTVSets">Spyware in TV Sets</h4> id="SpywareOnWearables">Wearables</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInTVSets">#SpywareInTVSets</a>)</span> href="#SpywareOnWearables">#SpywareOnWearables</a>)</span>
</div>

<p>Emo Phillips made a joke: The other day a woman came up to me and
said, “Didn't I see you on television?” I said, “I
don't know. You can't see out the other way.” Evidently that was
before Amazon “smart” TVs.</p>

<ul>
  <li><p>More or less all “smart” TVs

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201807260">
    <p>Tommy Hilfiger clothing <a href="
  http://www.myce.com/news/reseachers-all-smart-tvs-spy-on-you-sony-monitors-all-channel-switches-72851/">spy
  on their users</a>.</p>

    <p>The report was as of 2014, but we don't expect this has got better.</p>
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2018/jul/26/tommy-hilfiger-new-clothing-line-monitor-customers">will
    monitor how often people wear it</a>.</p>

    <p>This shows that laws requiring products to get users' formal
      consent before collecting personal data are totally inadequate.
      And what happens if a user declines consent?  Probably the TV will say, “Without your consent to tracking, teach the TV will
      not work.”</p>

    <p>Proper laws would say that TVs are not allowed sheeple to report find it normal that companies
    monitor every aspect of what
      the user watches — no exceptions!</p> they do.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>Vizio goes a step further than other TV manufacturers in spying on 
      their users: their
</ul>


<h5 id="SpywareOnSmartWatches">“Smart” Watches</h5>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201603020">
    <p>A very cheap “smart watch” comes with an Android app <a href="http://www.propublica.org/article/own-a-vizio-smart-tv-its-watching-you">
      “smart” TVs analyze your viewing habits in detail and 
      link them your IP address</a> so
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/02/chinese_backdoor_found_in_ebays_popular_cheap_smart_watch/">
    that advertisers can track you 
      across devices.</p>
 
      <p>It is possible connects to turn an unidentified site in China</a>.</p>

    <p>The article says this off, is a back door, but having that could be a
    misunderstanding.  However, it enabled by default is an injustice already.</p> certainly surveillance, at least.</p>
  </li>
  
  <li><p>Tivo's alliance with Viacom adds 2.3 million households

  <li id="M201407090">
    <p>An LG “smart” watch is designed <a
    href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/07/09/lg-kizon-smart-watch_n_5570234.html">
    to report its location to someone else and to transmit conversations
    too</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInVehicles">Vehicles</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInVehicles">#SpywareInVehicles</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201903290">
    <p>Tesla cars collect lots of personal data, and <a
    href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/29/tesla-model-3-keeps-data-like-crash-videos-location-phone-contacts.html">
    when they go to a junkyard the 600 millions social media profiles the company already
      monitors. Tivo customers are unaware they're being watched by
      advertisers. By combining TV viewing information driver's personal data goes with online
      social media participation, Tivo can now
    them</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201902011">
    <p>The FordPass Connect feature of some Ford vehicles has <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/viacom-tivo-idUSL1N12U1VV20151102">correlate TV
      advertisement with online purchases</a>, exposing all users
    href="https://www.myfordpass.com/content/ford_com/fp_app/en_us/termsprivacy.html">
    near-complete access to
      new combined surveillance by default.</p></li>
  <li><p>Some web and TV advertisements play inaudible sounds the internal car network</a>. It is constantly
    connected to be
      picked up the cellular phone network and sends Ford a lot of data,
    including car location. This feature operates even when the ignition
    key is removed, and users report that they can't disable it.</p>

    <p>If you own one of these cars, have you succeeded in breaking the
    connectivity by proprietary malware running on other devices disconnecting the cellular modem, or wrapping the
    antenna in
      range so as aluminum foil?</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201811300">
    <p>In China, it is mandatory for electric
    cars to determine that they are nearby.  Once your
      Internet devices are paired with your TV, advertisers can
      correlate ads be equipped with Web activity, and
      other <a href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/11/beware-of-ads-that-use-inaudible-sound-to-link-your-phone-tv-tablet-and-pc/">cross-device tracking</a>.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>Vizio “smart” TVs recognize and a terminal that <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2015/07/24/vizio-ipo-inscape-acr/">track what people are watching</a>,
      even if it isn't
    href="https://www.apnews.com/4a749a4211904784826b45e812cff4ca">
    transfers technical data, including car location,
    to a TV channel.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>The Amazon “Smart” TV government-run platform</a>. In practice, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2014/nov/09/amazon-echo-smart-tv-watching-listening-surveillance">is
      watching and listening all
    href="/proprietary/proprietary-surveillance.html#car-spying">
    manufacturers collect this data</a> as part of their own spying, then
    forward it to the time</a>.</p> government-run platform.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>The Samsung “Smart” TV

  <li id="M201810230">
    <p>GM <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/02/who-s-the-third-party-that-samsung-and-lg-smart-tvs-are-sharing-your-voice-data-with/index.htm">transmits users' voice on
    href="https://boingboing.net/2018/10/23/dont-touch-that-dial.html">
    tracked the internet to another
    company, Nuance</a>.  Nuance can save choices of radio programs</a> in its
    “connected” cars, minute by minute.</p>

    <p>GM did not get users' consent, but it and would then could have to
      give got that easily by
    sneaking it to into the US or contract that users sign for some other government.</p>
      <p>Speech recognition digital service
    or other. A requirement for consent is not effectively no protection.</p>

    <p>The cars can also collect lots of other data: listening to you,
    watching you, following your movements, tracking passengers' cell
    phones. <em>All</em> such data collection should be trusted unless it forbidden.</p>

    <p>But if you really want to be safe, we must make sure the car's
    hardware cannot collect any of that data, or that the software
    is done
    by free software in so we know it won't collect any of that data.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201711230">
    <p>AI-powered driving apps can <a
    href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43nz9p/ai-powered-driving-apps-can-track-your-every-move">
    track your own computer.</p> every move</a>.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>Spyware in

  <li id="M201607160">
    <p id="car-spying">Computerized cars with nonfree software are <a href="http://doctorbeet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/lg-smart-tvs-logging-usb-filenames-and.html">
      LG “smart” TVs</a> reports what the user watches, and
      the switch to turn this off
    href="http://www.thelowdownblog.com/2016/07/your-cars-been-studying-you-closely-and.html">
    snooping devices</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201602240">
    <p id="nissan-modem">The Nissan Leaf has no effect.  (The fact that the
      transmission reports a 404 error really means nothing; the server
      could save that data anyway.)</p>

      <p>Even worse, it
      <a href="http://rambles.renney.me/2013/11/lg-tv-logging-filenames-from-network-folders/">
      snoops on other devices on the user's local network.</a></p>

      <p>LG later said it had installed a patch built-in
    cell phone modem which allows effectively anyone to stop this, but any product
      could spy this way.</p>

      <p>Meanwhile, LG TVs <a href="http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140511/17430627199/lg-will-take-smart-out-your-smart-tv-if-you-dont-agree-to-share-your-viewing-search-data-with-third-parties.shtml"> do lots of spying anyway</a>.</p>
  </li>
  <li>
      <p><a href="http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/05/verizon-fios-reps-know-what-tv-channels-you-watch/">Verizon cable TV snoops on what programs people watch,
    href="https://www.troyhunt.com/controlling-vehicle-features-of-nissan/">
    access its computers remotely and even what they wanted make changes in various
    settings</a>.</p>

    <p>That's easy to record.</a></p>
  </li>
</ul>

<!-- #SpywareAtPlay -->
<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareAtPlay">Spyware at Play</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareAtPlay">#SpywareAtPlay</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<ul>
  <li><p>Many do because the system has no authentication
    when accessed through the modem.  However, even if it asked
    for authentication, you couldn't be confident that Nissan
    has no access.  The software in the car is proprietary, <a href="http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/12/29/how-much-data-are-video-games-collecting-about-you.html/">
      video game consoles snoop on their users and report
    href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">which means
    it demands blind faith from its users</a>.</p>

    <p>Even if no one connects to the 
      internet</a>— even what their users weigh.</p>

      <p>A game console car remotely, the cell phone modem
    enables the phone company to track the car's movements all the time;
    it is a computer, and you can't trust a computer with 
      a nonfree operating system.</p> possible to physically remove the cell phone modem, though.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Modern gratis game cr…apps
      <a href="http://toucharcade.com/2015/09/16/we-own-you-confessions-of-a-free-to-play-producer/">
      collect a wide range of

  <li id="M201306140">
    <p>Tesla cars allow the company to extract
    data about their users remotely and their users' 
      friends determine the car's location
    at any time. (See Section 2, paragraphs b and associates</a>.</p>

      <p>Even nastier, they do c of the <a
    href="http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/tmi_privacy_statement_external_6-14-2013_v2.pdf">
    privacy statement</a>.) The company says it through ad networks that merge doesn't store this
    information, but if the state orders it to get the data
      collected by various cr…apps and sites hand it
    over, the state can store it.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201303250">
    <p id="records-drivers">Proprietary software in cars <a
    href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/03/24/car-spying-edr-data-privacy/1991751/">
    records information about drivers' movements</a>, which is made by different 
      companies.</p>

      <p>They use this data to manipulate people
    available to buy things, car manufacturers, insurance companies, and hunt 
      for “whales” who can be led to spend a lot others.</p>

    <p>The case of money. They 
      also use toll-collection systems, mentioned in this article,
    is not really a back door to manipulate matter of proprietary surveillance. These systems
    are an intolerable invasion of privacy, and should be replaced with
    anonymous payment systems, but the invasion isn't done by malware. The
    other cases mentioned are done by proprietary malware in the car.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInVR">Virtual Reality</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInVR">#SpywareInVR</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201612230">
    <p>VR equipment, measuring every slight motion,
    creates the game play potential for specific players.</p>

      <p>While the article describes gratis games, games that cost money most intimate
    surveillance ever. All it takes to make this potential real <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2016/12/23/virtual-reality-allows-the-most-detailed-intimate-digital-surveillance-yet/">is
    software as malicious as many other programs listed in this
    page</a>.</p>

    <p>You can use bet Facebook will implement the same tactics.</p> maximum possible
    surveillance on Oculus Rift devices. The moral is, never trust a VR
    system with nonfree software in it.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<!-- #SpywareOnTheWeb -->



<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareOnTheWeb">Spyware on the Web</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareOnTheWeb">#SpywareOnTheWeb</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<p>In addition, many web sites spy on their visitors.  Web sites are not
   programs, so it
   <a href="/philosophy/network-services-arent-free-or-nonfree.html">
   makes no sense to call them “free” or “proprietary”</a>,
   but the surveillance is an abuse all the same.</p>

<ul>

  <li><p>Online

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201904210">
    <p>As of April 2019, it is <a
    href="https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/software/major-browsers-to-prevent-disabling-of-click-tracking-privacy-risk/">no
    longer possible to disable an
    unscrupulous tracking anti-feature</a> that <a
    href="https://html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/links.html#hyperlink-auditing">reports
    users when they follow ping links</a> in Apple Safari, Google Chrome,
    Opera, Microsoft Edge and also in the upcoming Microsoft Edge that is
    going to be based on Chromium.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201901101">
    <p>Until 2015, any tweet that listed a geographical tag <a
    href="http://web-old.archive.org/web/20190115233002/https://www.wired.com/story/twitter-location-data-gps-privacy/">
    sent the precise GPS location to Twitter's server</a>. It still
    contains these GPS locations.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201805170">
    <p>The Storyful program <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/17/revealed-how-storyful-uses-tool-monitor-what-journalists-watch">spies
    on the reporters that use it</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201701060">
    <p>When a page uses Disqus
    for comments, the proprietary Disqus software <a
    href="https://blog.dantup.com/2017/01/visiting-a-site-that-uses-disqus-comments-when-not-logged-in-sends-the-url-to-facebook">loads
    a Facebook software package into the browser of every anonymous visitor
    to the page, and makes the page's URL available to Facebook</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201612064">
    <p>Online sales, with tracking and surveillance of customers, <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/06/cookie-monsters-why-your-browsing-history-could-mean-rip-off-prices">enables
    businesses to show different people different prices</a>. Most of
    the tracking is done by recording interactions with servers, but
    proprietary software contributes.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a href="http://japandailypress.com/government-warns-agencies-against-using-chinas-baidu-application-after-data-transmissions-discovered-2741553/">
      Baidu's Japanese-input and Chinese-input apps spy on users.</a></p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Pages that contain “Like” buttons
      <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/facebooks-privacy-lie-aussie-exposes-tracking-as-new-patent-uncovered-20111004-1l61i.html">
      enable Facebook to track visitors

  <li id="M201405140">
    <p><a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20190421070310/https://www.itproportal.com/2014/05/14/microsoft-openly-offered-cloud-data-fbi-and-nsa/">
    Microsoft SkyDrive allows the NSA to those pages</a>—even
      users that don't have Facebook accounts.</p> directly examine users'
    data</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Many

  <li id="M201210240">
    <p>Many web sites rat their visitors to advertising
    networks that track users.  Of the top 1000 web sites, <a
    href="https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/bclt/research/privacy-at-bclt/web-privacy-census/">84%
    (as of 5/17/2012) fed their visitors third-party cookies, allowing
    other sites to track them</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Many

  <li id="M201208210">
    <p>Many web sites report all their visitors
    to Google by using the Google Analytics service, which <a
    href="http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/434164/google_analytics_breaks_norwegian_privacy_laws_local_agency_said/">
    tells Google the IP address and the page that was visited.</a></p> visited</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Many

  <li id="M201200000">
    <p>Many web sites try to collect users' address books (the user's list
    of other people's phone numbers or email addresses).  This violates
    the privacy of those other people.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.itproportal.com/2014/05/14/microsoft-openly-offered-cloud-data-fbi-and-nsa/">
      Microsoft SkyDrive allows

  <li id="M201110040">
    <p>Pages that contain “Like” buttons <a
    href="https://www.smh.com.au/technology/facebooks-privacy-lie-aussie-exposes-tracking-as-new-patent-uncovered-20111004-1l61i.html">
    enable Facebook to track visitors to those pages</a>—even users
    that don't have Facebook accounts.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInJavaScript">JavaScript</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInJavaScript">#SpywareInJavaScript</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201811270">
    <p>Many web sites use JavaScript code <a
    href="http://gizmodo.com/before-you-hit-submit-this-company-has-already-logge-1795906081">
    to snoop on information that users have typed into a
    form but not sent</a>, in order to learn their identity. Some are <a
    href="https://www.manatt.com/Insights/Newsletters/Advertising-Law/Sites-Illegally-Tracked-Consumers-New-Suits-Allege">
    getting sued</a> for this.</p>

    <p>The chat facilities of some customer services use the NSA same sort of
    malware to directly examine users' data</a>.</p> <a
    href="https://gizmodo.com/be-warned-customer-service-agents-can-see-what-youre-t-1830688119">
    read what the user is typing before it is posted</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<!-- WEBMASTERS: make sure to place new items

  <li id="M201807190">
    <p>British Airways used <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/19/17591732/british-airways-gdpr-compliance-twitter-personal-data-security">nonfree
    JavaScript on top under each subsection -->
<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInChrome">Spyware in Chrome</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInChrome">#SpywareInChrome</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p>Google Chrome makes it easy for an extension its web site to do <a
    href="https://labs.detectify.com/2015/07/28/how-i-disabled-your-chrome-security-extensions/">total
    snooping give other companies personal data on
    its customers</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201712300">
    <p>Some JavaScript malware <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/30/16829804/browser-password-manager-adthink-princeton-research">
    swipes usernames from browser-based password managers</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201711150">
    <p>Some websites send
    JavaScript code to collect all the user's browsing</a>, and many of them do so.</p> input, <a
    href="https://freedom-to-tinker.com/2017/11/15/no-boundaries-exfiltration-of-personal-data-by-session-replay-scripts/">which
    can then be used to reproduce the whole session</a>.</p>

    <p>If you use LibreJS, it will block that malicious JavaScript
    code.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInFlash">Spyware in Flash</h4> id="SpywareInFlash">Flash</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInFlash">#SpywareInFlash</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul>
  <li><p>Flash

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201310110">
    <p>Flash and JavaScript are used for <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/top-sites-and-maybe-the-nsa-track-users-with-device-fingerprinting/">
    “fingerprinting” devices</a> to identify users.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201003010">
    <p>Flash Player's <a
    href="http://www.imasuper.com/66/technology/flash-cookies-the-silent-privacy-killer/">
    cookie feature helps web sites track visitors</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Flash
</ul>


<div class="big-subsection">
  <h4 id="SpywareInChrome">Chrome</h4>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInChrome">#SpywareInChrome</a>)</span>
</div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201906220">
    <p>Google Chrome is also used an <a
    href="https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/06/21/google-chrome-has-become-surveillance-software-its-time-to-switch/">
    instrument of surveillance</a>. It lets thousands of trackers invade
    users' computers and report the sites they visit to advertising and
    data companies, first of all to Google. Moreover, if users have a
    Gmail account, Chrome automatically logs them in to the browser for
    more convenient profiling. On Android, Chrome also reports their
    location to Google.</p>

    <p>The best way to escape surveillance is to switch to <a href="http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/top-sites-and-maybe-the-nsa-track-users-with-device-fingerprinting/">
      “fingerprinting” devices </a>
    href="/software/icecat/">IceCat</a>, a modified version of Firefox
    with several changes to identify users.</p> protect users' privacy.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<p><a href="/philosophy/javascript-trap.html">Javascript code</a>

  <li id="M201704131">
    <p>Low-priced Chromebooks for schools are <a
    href="https://www.eff.org/wp/school-issued-devices-and-student-privacy">
    collecting far more data on students than is another method necessary, and store
    it indefinitely</a>. Parents and students complain about the lack
    of “fingerprinting” devices.</p>


<!-- #SpywareEverywhere -->
<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareEverywhere">Spyware Everywhere</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareEverywhere">#SpywareEverywhere</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<ul>
  <li><p>The natural extension transparency on the part of monitoring people through 
      “their” phones both the educational services and the
    schools, the difficulty of opting out of these services, and the lack
    of proper privacy policies, among other things.</p>

    <p>But complaining is not sufficient. Parents, students and teachers
    should realize that the software Google uses to spy on students is
    nonfree, so they can't verify what it really does. The only remedy is
    to persuade school officials to <a 
      href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2016/01/fool-activity-tracker.html">
      proprietary software href="/education/edu-schools.html">
    exclusively use free software</a> for both education and school
    administration. If the school is run locally, parents and teachers
    can mandate their representatives at the School Board to make sure refuse the
    budget unless the school initiates a switch to free software. If
    education is run nation-wide, they can't “fool” need to persuade legislators
    (e.g., through free software organizations, political parties,
    etc.) to migrate the 
      monitoring</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/134954-cortana-is-always-listening-with-new-wake-on-voice-tech-even-when-windows-10-is-sleeping">
      Intel devices will be able public schools to listen free software.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201507280">
    <p>Google Chrome makes it easy for speech all an extension to do <a
    href="https://labs.detectify.com/2015/07/28/how-i-disabled-your-chrome-security-extensions/">total
    snooping on the time, even when “off.”</a></p> user's browsing</a>, and many of them do so.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201506180">
    <p>Google Chrome includes a module that <a
    href="https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2015/06/google-chrome-listening-in-to-your-room-shows-the-importance-of-privacy-defense-in-depth/">
    activates microphones and transmits audio to its servers</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201308040">
    <p>Google Chrome <a
    href="https://www.brad-x.com/2013/08/04/google-chrome-is-spyware/">
    spies on browser history, affiliations</a>, and other installed
    software.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200809060">
    <p>Google Chrome contains a key logger that <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20190126075111/http://www.favbrowser.com/google-chrome-spyware-confirmed/">
    sends Google every URL typed in</a>, one key at a time.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<!-- #SpywareInVR -->



<div class="big-section">
  <h3 id="SpywareInVR">Spyware In VR</h3> id="SpywareInNetworks">Spyware in Networks</h3>
  <span class="anchor-reference-id">(<a href="#SpywareInVR">#SpywareInVR</a>)</span> href="#SpywareInNetworks">#SpywareInNetworks</a>)</span>
</div>
<div style="clear: left;"></div>

<ul>
  <li><p>VR equipment, measuring every slight motion, creates the
      potential

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201902040">
    <p>Google invites people to <a
    href="https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/04/google-screenwise-unwise-trade-all-your-privacy-cash?cd-origin=rss">
    let Google monitor their phone use, and all internet use in their
    homes, for an extravagant payment of $20</a>.</p>

    <p>This is not a malicious functionality of a program with some other
    purpose; this is the software's sole purpose, and Google says so. But
    Google says it in a way that encourages most intimate surveillance ever. All people to ignore the
    details. That, we believe, makes it takes fitting to make this potential
      real list here.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201606030">
    <p>Investigation Shows <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/12/23/virtual-reality-allows-the-most-detailed-intimate-digital-surveillance-yet/">is
      software as malicious as many other programs listed in this
      page</a>.</p>

    <p>You
    href="https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160602/17210734610/investigation-shows-gchq-using-us-companies-nsa-to-route-around-domestic-surveillance-restrictions.shtml">GCHQ
    Using US Companies, NSA To Route Around Domestic Surveillance
    Restrictions</a>.</p>

    <p>Specifically, it can bet Facebook will implement collect the maximum possible
      surveillance on Oculus Rift devices. The moral is, never trust a
      VR system with nonfree software in it.</p> emails of members of Parliament
    this way, because they pass it through Microsoft.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201212290">
    <p>The Cisco TNP IP phones are <a
    href="http://boingboing.net/2012/12/29/your-cisco-phone-is-listening.html">
    spying devices</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

</div>

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