VERIZON AND ATT ARE TRACKING SOME PHONES by inserting a piece of code into EVERY web request your phone makes. And the places you GO can track it, TOO.
Really, they are.
(CLICK ON THE LINKS, THEY’RE REALLY INFORMATIVE!)
First, a terminology correction….this thing isn’t an “advertising header” (ATT), it’s a “Unique Identifier Header” (Verizon), in the sense that it’s tracking everything you do on the web, and providing that info to ANYONE able to capture the header (everyone), and allowing those sites to gather that data in one place and get a VERY clear view of you and what you do with your phone on the web.
After reading a great article about this that really kinda shocked me, I went to this site to see if I was one of the Lucky People That Get that Crappy ID TAG.
(Quick plug for an app that I use to aggregate news stories I’m interested in called “Zite“, this thing is the bomb for finding news I care about and I recommend it highly, tho it appears to cause SOME memory leaks on my phone according to an Apple Genius who plugged some little doo-dad into my phone at the store that told him all kinda cool stuff about my phone, and presumably me, since he didn’t want me to look over his shoulder and would NOT send me the report about MY phone, which I found really interesting, but that’s a whole other deal.)
I am being tracked, shocker.
When I sent that link around to a bunch of people, I got back word that some of them were NOT being tracked –
what he said
THAT got me wondering why.
Why NOT track some people and track others?
Hmmm….well, one thing might be our political views and how vociferous about them we are. I’m extremely motivated and aggressive about my political views (drrrr), the other fellow not so much….so would that play into it?
And honestly, I don’t know. But one could easily imagine that in this time of technology and NSA spying and corporate governmental takeover and erosion of free speech via erasing of privacy, that such a thing would be a trivial decision to make by those whose interests lie NOT with the public interest, but with their very very extremely rich overlords, in order to find yet one more way to track/commodify/ensnare/intimidate/control/restrain us/me/you/everyone/anyone.
One thing I know, this is NOT OK with me, and I want it to stop ASAP. So I’m gonna get in touch with ATT and let them know I’ll be moving to another provider if that thing isn’t turned off and I mean NOW.
I’ll let you know how that goes….
(Another BTW, just TRY reaching out to ATT if you’re on their GoPhone plan, and not a month to month contract plan. You’ll immediately understand that they REALLY don’t like you not allowing them to rape you for every nickel and dime they can, if you DON’T know what I mean, click that link to find out how hard you’re getting screwed, it’s a doozy that most people still don’t seem to know. Here’s another.)
So I think it’s going to be very tough to even get someone on the phone about this issue, much more so to get it changed.
Another related note….ATT wants you to think that this thing is about identifying and quantifying you and your preferences for their advertisers, (which, if truly their ONLY motivation, is still WAY NOT OK with me. I’m not the least bit interested in subsidizing them making money off of me by PAYING to be followed around everywhere I go just so someone can SELL me shit I don’t want/need!! Are you fucking kidding me?!?!)
“Take advertising, for example. The whole basis of that industry is to mislead and manipulate, to create desire where none existed before. The concept of a rational consumer may have made sense a hundred years ago, but it was posited before the advent of two essential advertising tools — mass media communications and public relations psychology.”
My last point being, if they plan on using my habits/needs/wants/interests/friends/family/sexual stuff/etc etc, then they can PAY ME FOR THAT, and TELL ME THEY’RE DOING IT!! Maybe we’ll make a deal, much like Google does; you give me a free phone that you can make money off of me with by selling my very specific info, or YOU DON’T SELL OR TRACK ANYTHING ABOUT ME, and I’ll pay for the phone.
THAT seems fair, and would allow everyone their own choice in the matter.
But I digress, usually, and often…
Something else to mention here, and that is that ATT is ALLOWING you to “opt-out” of this tracking.
As you can see, that’s a complete farce.
But this another kind of tracking, that’s what I’m talking about.
ATT has something they call ATT AdWorks Relevant Advertising, which is what they say this bit they stick into your http requests is for, and you can *allegedly* opt out of that, so let’s look at that…
ATT’s NON OptOut
As you see, it appears that this is a way to OptOut of their tracking you on sites….BUT…bullet points #2 and #3 make it clear that’s not the case, and that it will NOT get rid of the code they insert into your http requests, #2 because all it’s saying is that you’ll still be getting ads from them, they just won’t be designed to fit you based on the profile they will develop of you, (and NOT delete, I’d bet a finger on it), and #3 because they’re making it clear that whatever deal you make with ATT will NOT be honored by anyone else, so the implication is that the info will still be there in the header, and that the info will still be gathered by others, and further that ATT might not be using THEIR profile to send you tailored ads, but I’ll bet they’ll happily use OTHER company’s profile of you….to send you tailored ads….
ATT NON Opt Out
Net effect, you still get tracked all over Kingdom Come by everyone, but you feel like you aren’t being tracked because you “opted out”.
And yes, a lot of people are that stupid or busy that they won’t pay attention.
So, you’re likely being tracked, in new ways that you haven’t been told about and likely wouldn’t allow if you were, and you can’t do a thing about it, unless you do.
Go to this site and find out if you have the tracker, then please let me know if you do or don’t will you? I have a feeling there’s more to this bit of code than just advertising, whatcha think?
UPDATE 5:15 pm 10/29 – It appears that opting out has worked for me at least, there is now nothing in my UID field at the testing site. YIPPEE!!
If you think it ‘s likely that government exists to enforce, codify, enable, enhance, further advance and codify the very rich’s power over our society and to criminalize, prosecute, attack with every means available, and bury completely anyone and/or any system that challenges their right to take whatever they deem is their’s from society at large and individuals who challenge them in specific, then this is something you MUST watch.
It exemplifies that absurd artifice that we live with each and every day as we struggle to “play by the rules” to move ourselves forward in life, while those with power and money steal EVERYTHING from us and talk about the “American Dream” mercilessly crush every effort to return to legality and an open level field for all.
It’s sickening how pervasive this is, and in this microcosm that tells the story in one person’s case we can see the blatant and horrific wrongness in our system, and how controlled and corrupt it truly is.
You’ll never hear about this movie, but you will be riveted by it, and you NEED to see it.
They WILL take it all, if you let them.
Your surrender will be your legacy.
(If you don’t know about the context of this post, go here for some background – note that Apple has NOT released an update to iOS 6 to close this hole, which is a glaring and interesting omission )
So this last update to Apple’s iOS was ONLY for iOS 7, and they have not put one out for iOS 6, tho presumably the one or 2 lines of code would be simple and easy enough to put into iOS 6.
So why not do that?
And why was that gaping hole left there in the first place….? It’s kinda super obvious and any cursory exam of the iOS before sending it out should have caught it… but Apple didn’t catch it…was it FOR the NSA to snoop with? As in Apple says basically, “you (NSA) pay us to put this hole in, and we’ll just wait till someone finds it and then we’ll jump to fix and everyone will think we’re really on the ball… etc….and we look good and you get your software hole in our phones….”.
Yeh, probably no, but could be I guess, clearly these companies aren’t looking out for US the consumer.
Bruce Schneier has some questions as well. (tech security expert)
But I don’t think so….I think it might MORE go like this – *IF* they did it on purpose, what about the idea of putting into the iOS a very big security hole, and then when it’s found, put out a patch for ONLY iOS 7, and NOT for iOS 6, SPECIFICALLY because iOS 6 is working GREAT on older iPhones, in particular the 4 and the 4s. iOS 7 runs pretty poorly on the 4s, and downright shitty on the 4 as it is, but in truth there’s really no overwhelmingly crucial reason to upgrade to iOS 7 on these phones, they work well on iOS 6 and and unless you need the better camera etc on a 5, there’s really no compelling reason to go to either iOS 7, OR the iphone 5 hardware, your phone is pretty good and gets the job done.
This security hole and lack of a patch for iOS 6 FORCES the owners of the 4 and the 4s to either accept the shitty performance of the iOS 7 on 4.x phones, or keep their phone and iOS 6 with a giant hole in it, or to do what I think might be the REAL point here, upgrade to a new iphone 5.x.
Then it’s simply selling hardware.
By now you’ve figured out that’s what I think is happening.
“I am having the same problem – to the point of it taking up to 30 seconds for my phone to unlock after the code is entered. Have an appointment at the Genius Bar this afternoon to see if they can help. Have to wonder if it is Apple’s way of pushing the new phones. Would love to go back to previous IOS! Apple support fix worked for 24 hours, then phone is back to lagging.”
I’m just pointing out something that seems obvious but I haven’t heard anyone mention, and it seems worth talking about. In fact, it’s really fricking weird no one is talking about it.
This is kinda math-ish, and I don’t math, but even without the math the implications are pretty obvious and very cool, I recommend watching this if you have any interest in safe energy generation…
This is a coupla years old, but its stunning and I just can’t figure out why this isn’t being done fullscale everywhere…