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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday July 23 2016, @08:19AM   Printer-friendly
from the camera+GPS=knowing-most-everything dept.

This data-mining game is what they call totalitarianism is how Oliver Stone described Pokémon Go at Comic Con. Earlier in the month Al Franken also expressed some concern asking the creator of the game about privacy, data sharing, and account access.

More from Stone:

They're data-mining every person in this room for information as to what you're buying, what you like, and above all, your behaviour. Pokémon Go kicks into that. But this is everywhere. It's what some people call surveillance capitalism. It's the newest stage. It's not for profit in the beginning, but it becomes for profit in the end.

It manipulates your behaviour. It has happened already quite a bit on the Internet, but you'll see it everywhere—you'll see a new form of, frankly, a robot society, where they will know how you want to behave and they will make the mockup that matches how you behave and feed you. It's what they call totalitarianism.

Personally I gave up my smart phone more than two years ago because I did not want a spy machine in my pocket; I've never played Pokémon Go but it seemed like a great way for the game creators to get people to run around and point the players camera at what ever they want, obtain other location based data, or focus players into businesses that pay for the privilege. Perhaps I just need to adjust my tinfoil hat but what do the 'lentils think? Is Stone just trying to plug his new movie or is this a legitimate concern?


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by nyder on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:18AM

    by nyder (4525) on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:18AM (#378993)

    I bought a smartphone just so I can play Pokemon Go. Let's be truthful here, if you are worried about people knowing what you are up to, you don't own or use a smartphone, or even a computer these day. Way to easy to track & hack. I bought the phone to play a video game. The game has no way to know anything but my movement data. Big whoop. Now if I want total privacy, I leave my smartphone at home, just like you should, and your fit bit, and your smart watch, and your ipad/tablet. Probably shouldn't take anything electronic out with you...

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  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:36AM (#378996)

    That'll teach those companies not to track people and to respect the user's freedoms. Keep buying and/or using their abusive products.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by cockroach on Saturday July 23 2016, @11:07AM

    by cockroach (2266) on Saturday July 23 2016, @11:07AM (#379007)

    So are you trying to say that we shouldn't question these things and that we shouldn't inform people about the dangers of giving away all their personal data?

    • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:51PM

      by darkfeline (1030) on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:51PM (#379199) Homepage

      I'm guessing he's saying something along the lines of, don't optimize prematurely.

      Sure, it makes sense to avoid smartphones if you want to avoid tracking, but do you also use a credit card? Oops, you're trackable anyway. Do you enable any JavaScript at all? Oops, your browser is fingerprintable. Internet? Oops, you're in PRISM.

      Privacy is only as good as the weakest link, and for most people, that link is weaker than they think. Heck, simply visiting this site, over HTTPS, can be analyzed by machine learning and fingerprint you via IP and the frequency patterns of your requests to SN (for example, are you a poster or a lurker?) and other requests originating from your IP.

      --
      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
      • (Score: 2) by cockroach on Saturday July 23 2016, @11:51PM

        by cockroach (2266) on Saturday July 23 2016, @11:51PM (#379222)

        You are of course right, it is pretty much impossible to do anything these days without being tracked, or at least being trackable.

        Still, I think that there is a bit of a difference between "the man" having tools to track you down, and people just giving away their personal data to anyone who offers a bit of entertainment in return. In the end it is everyone's personal decision how much they want to try and fight the mostly inevitable; warning people about what they are getting themselves into seems like a reasonable thing though. Even if only to be in a position for a good old I told you so.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24 2016, @08:38AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24 2016, @08:38AM (#379337)

        There are degrees of privacy. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Just because you're being tracked in some ways doesn't mean you should hand over other information on a silver platter.

        Personally, I don't have a cellphone, and I don't use a credit card unless it's for something where my name would inevitably be known anyway. I pay with cash and generally do not allow JavaScript (not all of it is for tracking).

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Unixnut on Saturday July 23 2016, @12:21PM

    by Unixnut (5779) on Saturday July 23 2016, @12:21PM (#379024)

    >> I bought the phone to play a video game. The game has no way to know anything but my movement data. Big whoop.

    Ignoring what it knows about you (which is a lot move than just your movement data) due to the fact it is your data and you have a choice how much you share and with whom, I think the complaint is that you are also filming and collecting data on your surroundings, which is where the disagreement comes in. People have been arrested trying to chase Pokemon into military installations, or restricted areas. Not to mention all those wondering into peoples private lands.

    • (Score: 2) by Knowledge Troll on Saturday July 23 2016, @01:48PM

      by Knowledge Troll (5948) on Saturday July 23 2016, @01:48PM (#379042) Homepage Journal

      People have been arrested trying to chase Pokemon into military installations, or restricted areas. Not to mention all those wondering into peoples private lands.

      Jesus I didn't know that was going on. Is there a legitimate reason to put the objectives of the game on private land? Non-commercial real estate could be filtered out by using public records such as surveying and land deeds. They are programmers, they can do it. If it makes money they can afford it.

      I can understand the game creator spraying the targets (Pokes? what ever the fuck those things are called) out randomly on maps because no one thought this through. I hope they've managed to fix this.

      Yes people are stupid for marching into a military base or going onto people's land. But if you give a monkey a gun who is at fault? It ain't the fuckin monkey.

      • (Score: 2) by Zz9zZ on Saturday July 23 2016, @07:11PM

        by Zz9zZ (1348) on Saturday July 23 2016, @07:11PM (#379127)

        Sure it is possible to restrict the locations, but it isn't simple by any means. The data is scattered across all sorts of databases that aren't even available to the public, and some people have access to a space, such as a private office. I think you are underestimating the difficulty of making sure a location is "safe" and a nice big disclaimer / warning is probably the better route to take. "Do not enter private property, exercise caution and safety at all times when hunting a pokemon". Make it a pop up at least once a day.

        --
        ~Tilting at windmills~
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 25 2016, @07:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 25 2016, @07:32PM (#379994)

      I've heard that Groom Lake, Nevada, is an excellent ground for catching Pokemon. There's a nearby airport that is a Pokestop, too!

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23 2016, @05:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23 2016, @05:32PM (#379090)

    > The game has no way to know anything but my movement data.

    You think so, huh?

    Do you have wifi at home? Do you use any other computers at home? Tada! Your smartphone has ratted you out. It knows your wifi's SSID and MAC address and has reported that along with the GPS coordinates back to google. Google has also linked all the web activity of all the other systems behind the router with your phone including any identifying info they've revealed. So now when you take that phone with you, it isn't just "movement activity," its stuff like where you work, where your friends live, what stores you shop at, what doctors you visit etc, etc. And its a permanent record associated with all the other computers back at your house so even if you toss the phone, all that info is part of the permanent dossier google has on you.

    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Saturday July 23 2016, @08:28PM

      by butthurt (6141) on Saturday July 23 2016, @08:28PM (#379156) Journal

      It knows your wifi's SSID and MAC address and has reported that along with the GPS coordinates back to google.

      If the house is near a road, Google and others likely have that information already. Google famously sent vans driving around in many countries, with cameras and (in some countries) Wi-fi sniffing equipment. If Google missed a spot, the players of this game may well venture there.

      The OP had written "...I leave my smartphone at home..."; if the OP ever leaves it there while on, that can reveal where the OP lives. Taking it other places can reveal when the OP has left home. That information can be useful to an adversary.

      Google has also linked all the web activity of all the other systems behind the router with your phone including any identifying info they've revealed.

      Just bringing a smart-phone into the vicinity of a Wi-fi access point doesn't automatically give it access to the network. Of course, one can set up unencrypted Wi-fi or one can provide one's WPA password to the phone.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:07PM (#379182)

        Just bringing a smart-phone into the vicinity of a Wi-fi access point doesn't automatically give it access to the network. Of course, one can set up unencrypted Wi-fi or one can provide one's WPA password to the phone.

        Thank you captain obvious!

        • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:38PM

          by butthurt (6141) on Saturday July 23 2016, @10:38PM (#379194) Journal

          It wasn't obvious to the AC who wrote

          Google has also linked all the web activity of all the other systems behind the router with your phone including any identifying info they've revealed.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jcross on Monday July 25 2016, @01:02AM

        by jcross (4009) on Monday July 25 2016, @01:02AM (#379606)

        Yes but think what you can infer from the parallel nature of the location data. If the OP has a dumb phone for actual calls, some system knows roughly where that is. Probably not the Pokemon Go system, but still. So the device is either always at your house or always right near your dumb phone? Hmm, what a coincidence! Obviously one could take precautions to make sure this data is hard to correlate, but that's going to come at the cost of convenience, and once they decide it's your device, your cover might be blown for good. You drive around to get to your Poke-spots? Funny how the device data lines up with what the license plate scanners are saying. Hell, for that matter let's say that you get caught on the camera of another player. You think big data can't recognize your face?

        • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Monday July 25 2016, @01:45AM

          by butthurt (6141) on Monday July 25 2016, @01:45AM (#379621) Journal

          Yes, thank you, if they know where you live they may be able to work out who you are, or at least come up with a short list of possibilities (depending on whether one lives in a detached house, row house, or block of flats). I had meant to mention that.

          I hadn't thought about number plate readers; that information would certainly help narrow down a list.

          The game doesn't appear to be designed to capture images of people's faces. I haven't played it but I gather that the Pokémon creatures are typically displayed as though they are on the ground, leading players to aim their cameras downward. That could of course change in future versions.