Your cell phone, your ipod, your shoes and your lack of privacy

“The FBI can access cell phones and modify them remotely without ever having to physically handle them,” James Atkinson, a counterintelligence security consultant, told ABC News. “Any recently manufactured cell phone has a built-in tracking device, which can allow eavesdroppers to pinpoint someone’s location to within just a few feet,” he added.

Read more from KTRE, an ABC affiliate in Nacogdoches, TX

Key industry players are incorporating wireless radio communications capabilities into many new personal consumer products. For example, the new Nike+iPod Sport Kit from Apple consists of two components — a sensor and a receiver — that communicate using a wireless radio protocol. Unfortunately, there can be negative side-effects associated with equipping these gadgets with wireless communications capabilities. In the case of the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, our research shows that the wireless capabilities in this new gadget can negatively impact a consumer’s personal privacy and safety. As part of our research, we built a number of surveillance tools that malicious individuals could use to track Nike+iPod Sport Kit owners. Our tools can track Nike+iPod Sport Kit owners while they our working out, as well as when they are just casually walking around town, a parking lot, or a college campus. The tracked individuals don’t even need to have their iPods with them.

Read Devices That Tell On You: The Nike+iPod Sport Kit from the U. of Washington’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Update: Nike+iPod raises RFID privacy concerns from C|Net and Nike+iPod Sport Kit raises privacy fears from ZDNet

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Filed under Privacy, The Politics of New Media, Ubiquity

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