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The Telecom Digest for October 14, 2012
Volume 31 : Issue 238 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Worldwide mobile subscriptions climb to six billion, adoption surges in developing countries (Monty Solomon)
TD Bank data breach affects 267,000 customers (Monty Solomon)
New Tracking Frontier: Your License Plates (Monty Solomon)
Apple Has Quietly Started Tracking iPhone Users Again (Monty Solomon)
When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook (Monty Solomon)

====== 31 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2012 00:32:31 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Worldwide mobile subscriptions climb to six billion, adoption surges in developing countries Message-ID: <p06240818cc9e9f3d0890@[]> Worldwide mobile subscriptions climb to six billion, adoption surges in developing countries By Chris Welch October 12, 2012 The Verge http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/12/3494364/worldwide-mobile-subscriptions-six-billion ***** Moderator's Note ***** The article includes bad news for consumers: the author mentions that "the US ranks a disappointing 15th in overall broadband development", but also says that the US leads everyone else in one critical area: "US carriers win when it comes to sucking your wallet dry". Speaking as a consumer, I'll add that the mantra of the Eighties is coming true: at least in terms of profit, US Cellular companies are doing more with less. If the chart in the article is any guide, "4G" really stands for "Gouge 'em, Gang up on 'em, and Get lost before they Get wise". Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 22:27:28 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: TD Bank data breach affects 267,000 customers Message-ID: <p06240809cc9e81e62800@[]> TD Bank data breach affects 267,000 customers - http://www.boston.com/businessupdates/2012/10/12/bank-data-breach-affects-maine/1aVgFQdpoRkXmqxT6Q25AM/story.html -or- http://goo.gl/0KSHw
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2012 16:11:10 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: New Tracking Frontier: Your License Plates Message-ID: <p0624082ecc9f79391fe3@[]> WHAT THEY KNOW New Tracking Frontier: Your License Plates By JULIA ANGWIN and JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES October 13, 2012 For more than two years, the police in San Leandro, Calif., photographed Mike Katz-Lacabe's Toyota Tercel almost weekly. They have shots of it cruising along Estudillo Avenue near the library, parked at his friend's house and near a coffee shop he likes. In one case, they snapped a photo of him and his two daughters getting out of a car in his driveway. Mr. Katz-Lacabe isn't charged with, or suspected of, any crime. Local police are tracking his vehicle automatically, using cameras mounted on a patrol car that record every nearby vehicle-license plate, time and location. "Why are they keeping all this data?" says Mr. Katz-Lacabe, who obtained the photos of his car through a public-records request. "I've done nothing wrong." Until recently it was far too expensive for police to track the locations of innocent people such as Mr. Katz-Lacabe. But as surveillance technologies decline in cost and grow in sophistication, police are rapidly adopting them. Private companies are joining, too. At least two start-up companies, both founded by "repo men"-specialists in repossessing cars or property from deadbeats-are currently deploying camera-equipped cars nationwide to photograph people's license plates, hoping to profit from the data they collect. The rise of license-plate tracking is a case study in how storing and studying people's everyday activities, even the seemingly mundane, has become the default rather than the exception. Cellphone-location data, online searches, credit-card purchases, social-network comments and more are gathered, mixed-and-matched, and stored in vast databases. ... http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443995604578004723603576296.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** Privacy, like a digital car key, is very easy to lose and very expensive to get back. My son and his friends, all twenty-somethings, have grown up in a digital online world: they have participated in what they thought were free online games and harmless online bulletin boards and cute online chat groups. They are starting to realize that they entrusted commercial profiteers with their privacy, and that it will not be returned to them. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2012 17:35:19 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Apple Has Quietly Started Tracking iPhone Users Again Message-ID: <p06240832cc9f8e170410@[]> Apple Has Quietly Started Tracking iPhone Users Again, And It's Tricky To Opt Out Jim Edwards Oct. 11, 2012 Apple's launch of the iPhone 5 in September came with a bunch of new commercials to promote the device. But Apple didn't shout quite so loud about an enhancement to its new mobile operating system, iOS 6, which also occurred in September: The company has started tracking users so that advertisers can target them again, through a new tracking technology called IFA or IDFA. Previously, Apple had all but disabled tracking of iPhone users by advertisers when it stopped app developers from utilizing Apple mobile device data via UDID, the unique, permanent, non-deletable serial number that previously identified every Apple device. For the last few months, iPhone users have enjoyed an unusual environment in which advertisers have been largely unable to track and target them in any meaningful way. In iOS 6, however, tracking is most definitely back on, and it's more effective than ever, multiple mobile advertising executives familiar with IFA tell us. (Note that Apple doesn't mention IFA in its iOS 6 launch page). ... http://www.businessinsider.com/ifa-apples-iphone-tracking-in-ios-6-2012-10 ***** Moderator's Note ***** I've been asked perhaps a half-dozen times why cellular companies would "track" their users. I have given up trying to explain that it is impossible for them not to track their users; i.e., that the whole point of a cellular network is to keep track of each user's location, so that they can carry on conversations while moving from one cell zone to another. Apple has decided to cut out the middleman, i.e., to eliminate the need to pay the cellular companies for user location data. With GPS software and a globally-unique-identifier in its mobile phones, it can offer advertisers both a click list and a current location, which makes it much easier to sell things to those who use Apple's phones. This assumes, of course, that those users are "online", but I'd bet that only a small percentage of Apple's users employ those products only as phones. Some users will seek ways around the monitoring. It remains to be seen if they will succeed. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2012 16:11:10 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook Message-ID: <p0624082dcc9f7859eb5a@[]> WHAT THEY KNOW When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER October 12, 2012 AUSTIN, Texas-Bobbi Duncan desperately wanted her father not to know she is lesbian. Facebook told him anyway. One evening last fall, the president of the Queer Chorus, a choir group she had recently joined, inadvertently exposed Ms. Duncan's sexuality to her nearly 200 Facebook friends, including her father, by adding her to a Facebook Inc. discussion group. That night, Ms. Duncan's father left vitriolic messages on her phone, demanding she renounce same-sex relationships, she says, and threatening to sever family ties. The 22-year-old cried all night on a friend's couch. "I felt like someone had hit me in the stomach with a bat," she says. Soon, she learned that another choir member, Taylor McCormick, had been outed the very same way, upsetting his world as well. The president of the chorus, a student organization at the University of Texas campus here, had added Ms. Duncan and Mr. McCormick to the choir's Facebook group. The president didn't know the software would automatically tell their Facebook friends that they were now members of the chorus. The two students were casualties of a privacy loophole on Facebook-the fact that anyone can be added to a group by a friend without their approval. As a result, the two lost control over their secrets, even though both were sophisticated users who had attempted to use Facebook's privacy settings to shield some of their activities from their parents. ... http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444165804578008740578200224.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** The Wall Street Journal site requires users to open an account before they are allowed to read the full text of its articles. Bill Horne Moderator
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