Jul 28, 2021
App Tracking Traps a
How It Can Affect You, Too
Craig Peterson: I've got two hot topics for you this morning. One about this Catholic priest that ended up resigning and how that happened to tie into this Grindr account. And how it affects you because this type of technology used to convict him in the court of public opinion is something that. It could also easily be used against you.
[00:00:25] And, by the way, it probably is. Now the next thing is this chip shortage. I've got a quote here from the Intel CEO. When is the chip shortage going to go away? When can we get out? Play stations and our new cars. So here we go.
[00:00:43] Matt Gagnon: I'm going to start. With a story that I think I covered maybe a week or two ago, and I went on a pre prolonged grant. I know you may or may not have heard me do it, but it was about this Catholic priest issue. I know you know about this in some depth and detail, as I said before. But there is this issue here.
[00:01:00] He was essentially outed as having visited gay bars and had done several other things. We'll just say using Grindr, right? All these types of things. And of course, being a high-ranking Catholic official, the accusations of hypocrisy and whatnot come and blah, blah, blah, et cetera.
[00:01:18] What's interesting about the story, though, to me, Craig is, the media covered it as a hypocrite priest has been found out. But how that information was discovered is not only creepy but really scary. So I want you to tell me exactly how this happened and what implications do you think it has for our privacy going forward?
[00:01:39] Because this is about a heck of a lot more than one Catholic priest. This is about Greg Peterson and what he's up to when I don't know. What does it do?
[00:01:46] Craig Peterson: Yeah, it absolutely is everyone. Every one of you guys that are listening right now could affect you. Here are the basics of what happened. As Matt just explained, he was outed here because he was using an app.
[00:02:00] Now it wasn't just because of this one. That was being used. And then, again, how many times do I know Matt? You said this. I've heard from you many times. "You are the product." There's something free. It's not free. So behind the scenes, what happened is some people thought that maybe. Bishop was doing something that you weren't supposed to be doing.
[00:02:22] They figured they would look into it a little more, trying to figure out some more details. And so they went to some of these apps and bought information. Now Grindr is one of these hookup apps, and they went to Grindr and bought location data. And it's anonymized, right? That's what we're always telling everybody.
[00:02:44] Oh yeah. Yeah. I
[00:02:45] Matt Gagnon: [00:02:45] don't have your name, right? They don't. Yeah. They may give you some information to people who asked for that data, but it doesn't have things that would identify you.
[00:02:52] Craig Peterson: [00:02:52] Like the NSA. Don't worry. It's just anonymized. They say this stuff all of the time. However, there are many studies you can find online on how to de-anonymize data.
[00:03:05] One of the easiest ways, for instance, to find out where Matt lives is, if you know an app or you suspect a few apps you might be using, you just buy the data from those apps about their users. You can now narrow it down because this phone tends to sleep at the same place every day. And that's true for you too.
[00:03:24] And in this particular case, this clergyman was using this app in various places. So at least the app went to some of these capital meetings, high-level meetings, et cetera. And so they put all of this data together and added two and two together and then confronted him saying, Hey, listen, we know it's you.
[00:03:47] There was no indisputable evidence of it. There was evidence that he went to all of these different meetings, and he was in all of them, and he was the only person that was all of them. And then his, this must be there for his phone, and it must be him. So this is all legal data. Now I want to add one more layer to the top of this.
[00:04:06] It's legal. You can buy it. I can buy it. And the federal government is buying it because they're not allowed to track it as supposedly helpful. But, still, there's a lot of evidence that they are. And because the feds, advertisers, and others have been buying all of this data and putting it together, they also track and de-anonymize them.
[00:04:28] Matt Gagnon: That's, I think, an excellent explanation. Thank you for doing that, Craig, because it's such a technical thing. I think that's what many of these companies rely on because it's difficult to understand how this even works. So the public getting fired up about it is pretty tricky, right?
[00:04:42]You got to understand it, to know what to be, even opposed to, and ultimately the selling of your data anonymized or not is occurring, and it's a problem. And The inevitable question really comes here. Craig, if you don't like this, what do you do about it? Is there any way to fight against this in some fashion?
[00:05:01]There's certainly, I suppose, political changes that could be made, and maybe law is different, but maybe there are things in your life you could do right now that. Would Lakey make you less susceptible to this?
[00:05:12]Craig Peterson: [00:05:12] This is really big. And the data also is being bought by advertisers, obviously roadside services.
[00:05:21] And one of the creepiest things too is you go to a specific type of a clinic and all of a sudden you start seeing ads about a competitor or maybe how, what you shouldn't be doing there. So what do you do about it? Here's another problem. Our phone carriers were caught about two, three years ago selling your real-time location data to these data brokers.
[00:05:45] And I've had a few of them on my show before, in years past, but it's just. Don't put apps on your phone that you don't need. The iOS, Apple phones, and Android phones can turn off tracking and turn it off on an individual app basis. Now that doesn't mean that your phone can't.
[00:06:10] Because they can. All right. But what it does mean is that a specific app might not have access to your location just because you're playing Tetris. So apple has even gone further now. It has made it so that the apps cannot find out what other apps are on the phone and even go to a website on your computer or phone, even though you might have cookies turned off.
[00:06:35] And you've done that. Some of the other things that I've advised people to do. Yeah. The computer can still report which apps are installed and to a website, to any website the same thing with your phone. Apple's taken some fundamental, extra steps to try and block all of that. So far in the Google ecosystem. It's still more open.
[00:06:56] Yeah. Delete the apps you don't need. Turn off tracking in your settings for pretty much everything. Obviously, you need it for maps. And if you are using Google maps, talking about selling your data,
[00:07:11] Matt Gagnon: [00:07:11] indeed. All right. Kirk Peterson, I have a couple other questions for you here. I'm not sure if we'll get a time for all of them.
[00:07:16] However, I did want to talk a bit about the chip shortage here because I continually get frustrated by my inability to buy a PlayStation, which is now a. Five month-long problem for me that trying to buy one of these things. But it's so much more than that. I was talking to somebody else. Maybe last week it was talking about trying to buy a car and you can't even, they don't even have stock.
[00:07:36] Like they don't even have the car at all. And manufacturers are now starting to make their cars differently. So that they don't require the chips that there's a shortage of so that they can actually produce the vehicles. Again, I'm hearing things about crank windows in cars, like just crazy stuff here because of this chip shortage.
[00:07:51] And it might last into 2023. Is that
[00:07:55] Craig Peterson: [00:07:55] right? Yeah. Yeah. And that's what the CEO over at Intel is saying. Now, this is going to last a while. Everybody made mistakes here during the lockdown. We had never had this before, where the government forced businesses to shut down. If you are in business, you are an important business, or you'd be out of it, of business.
[00:08:14] That's just the way it goes. And that's true for the whole chip supplier, right? So we have a long way to go as well. He's saying right now, and they are rebuilding manufacturing capability. Now here's part of the problem with the capacity is the. As they're made up, the newer trips keep getting smaller and require different ship fabrication techniques and fabrication plants.
[00:08:39] That's a huge deal when you get right down to it. And what it means is look at the apple with their M1 chip, and they have just this high-speed chip of Apple's, making its own fabrication, plants, et cetera. So the chips that they're wanting today cannot be made with older fabrication plants.
[00:08:59] Now, some of them have been brought online, and some of those fabrication plants are making older chips. You are right about cars. I drive a 1980 Mercedes-Benz diesel. There, there are no electronics to speak of in this car. And my kids said, Hey, do you know your car's worth like $10,000? It was I. It was just amazing.
[00:09:21] You're absolutely right. The car manufacturers are dropping things, and they are lowering the prices supposedly. But, still, they're lowering the prices based on what that costs them. So, for instance, in some of these higher-end cars where you might have a smart charger that you just put your phone on, you don't have to plug anything in, and it charges up.
[00:09:42]They'll give you a $40 credit. But how are you going to install that later on? How are you going to install electric ones? That was when they put in 10 old ranks. So this is really a big problem. It's hitting everybody. It's tremendously hurting my business. I'm not getting compensated for it because it's taken us forever. We ordered a box of desks for our clients in November.
[00:10:07] They showed up this last month. So we're going to have to live with this. Probably into 20, 23, and maybe even longer. It should start letting up sometime next year. But your PlayStation Matt is still a way off.
[00:10:24] Matt Gagnon: Wonderful. Thanks a lot. Craig Peterson, our tech guru, joins us at this time every week. We will talk to you again, sir, next week.