Andrew Hyde sold all of his worldly possessions last August and began a trip around the world. He makes no secret of this — its detailed on his website. We’re well aware that personal information becomes vulnerable whenever we agree to the terms of service of yet another fun geo-location mobile app as it typically utilizes information from the phone’s positioning to track real-time location. But this week, geodata geek and author Pete Warden released an open-source iPhone application that exploits a file in iPhone 4 (or iPad 3G) containing all recorded geographic data in the phone’s history.
The information is available without a password to anyone with access to a laptop that the iPhone in question has synced with, notes Hyde. iPhones and iPads on iOS 4 record approximate the data based on the devices distance from the cell tower it is connected to at any given time. Is this something to worry about? Not really. Unless you’re a criminal with a bullshit alibi — data from cellphones and other mobile devices have been used by authorities for years.
Thanks to a California Supreme Court decision in January, no warrant is required for authorities in our state to search cell phones or mobile devices of arrestees.
Continue reading “My Phone Knows Everything About Me and I’m Cool With That”
I was looking all over for the syllabus from a course I was fortunate to take in the fall of 2006 at USC, Set-Top Box: Hollywood’s Secret War on Your Living Room. As if it wasn’t enough to meet weekly with Cory Doctorow, the guests he brought in and the material we read were priceless and it has all stuck with me in many ways. Having tracked down the syllabus in an old socialtext wiki I thought I’d reprint it here so I no longer have to dig and dig and dig to refer back to some of the readings. The class blog and my class project are still online.
Continue reading “Keeping Track of What we Read in Class”
I was appalled to find out that not only am I being charged monthly for a service — FreeCreditReport.com (billed as CIC*TRIPLE ADVANTAGE) — that I don’t use but that according to Experian, my SS# and credit history is apparently tied to one ANDREA LAVELLE, also known as Andrew C. Sternberg, and born in 1964 (my actual year of birth is 1975). Only one of three addresses listed are mine and among my supposed debts are a quarter-million dollars in real estate assets (I’ve only rented — never owned).
UPDATE JUNE 6: Finally got thru to Experian (the number for disputes that worked was 1 800 208 9232) and cleared 21 accounts from my credit report that weren’t mine as well as at least a dozen addresses where I never lived. The woman on the phone confirmed that “this happens all the time.” These computers are made by humans, she said. Sounds like you really need some new computers, or an overhaul of your IT staff, I rebutted.
UPDATE: I discovered that indeed one Andrea Lavelle does work at Antioch Tire in Antioch, IL — at the very address listed on MY Experian credit report. Thanks to some Google searching and a call to my purported identity thief’s workplace, I know when she’ll be in the office — but I don’t know who to send (or if there might be a third party involved whose hijacking both of our identities). Guess I’ll call the FTC in the morning.
Upon calling FreeCreditReport.com customer care I was instructed to file a dispute on the website, however, when disputing the first thing listed (the address) i was told that their online disputing system is currently unavailable. I then asked, no, demanded to know why two unknown addresses as well as several assets that aren’t mine are listed on this record which is supposedly based on my social security number. Fill out this form is all I was told. And they will e-mail you. Well the second form didn’t get me anywhere as you can see from the error message below.
So, HOW can I find out what’s up with this BS on my credit report? Is this a bug on Experian’s end (owner of FreeCreditReport.com and issuer of my inaccurate credit report) or has someone who goes by Andrea Lavelle been piggybacking on my credit for better and/or worse? For the record, my credit score according this report is fine, so I have yet to be adversely affected by this mystery (as far as I know).
Has anyone else had issues like this with Experian or other credit history farmers? I can’t find any info about the addresses or identities attached to my profile either (see images below)… To be continued…
Continue reading “My FreeCreditReport.com is in Someone Else’s Name”