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 Post subject: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:38 am 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 1:54 am
Posts: 17
Location: Anaheim, CA
I read an interesting news about how your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates. Ford and State Farm are working together to use Sync, a device which will be used to record the drivers behavior on the basis of his driving. Different factors will be used to detect how safe your driving is, and this in turn will reduce your insurance rates.

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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1609
Location: Seattle, WA
A little too Big Brother for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Illinois
stannius wrote:
A little too Big Brother for me.

Way to big brother for me.

It reminds me of the news report I heard recently that several states are exploring the option to tax you by the number of miles you drive (because people are driving more fuel efficient cars and their gas tax revenues are down), and they would do this by mandating GPS's being installed in every car and tracking how many miles your car drives... and who know what else they'd decide they need to track. Oh there was a robbery down the street... let's look and see who was in the area at the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5357
bpgui wrote:
stannius wrote:
A little too Big Brother for me.

Way to big brother for me.

It reminds me of the news report I heard recently that several states are exploring the option to tax you by the number of miles you drive (because people are driving more fuel efficient cars and their gas tax revenues are down), and they would do this by mandating GPS's being installed in every car and tracking how many miles your car drives... and who know what else they'd decide they need to track. Oh there was a robbery down the street... let's look and see who was in the area at the time.


Actually, it's hard to argue with this logic. Gas taxes are already uses to pay for road repairs under the theory that more gas= more miles. If people star getting more miles with less gas, why shouldnt they pay more?


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:00 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Illinois
DoingHomework wrote:
Actually, it's hard to argue with this logic. Gas taxes are already uses to pay for road repairs under the theory that more gas= more miles. If people star getting more miles with less gas, why shouldnt they pay more?

I don't dispute that people who drive more should pay more taxes for the roads (although I do find it humorous that the gov't encourages us to buy more fuel efficient then cars, then doesn't like the result :)), I do disagree with the gov't tracking via gps where everyone is at all times. There's much cheaper and much less invasive ways to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:56 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Ottawa, Canada
bpgui wrote:
I do disagree with the gov't tracking via gps where everyone is at all times.


Got a cell phone? Yes? Then I've got some bad news for you ...


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:53 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Illinois
kombat wrote:
bpgui wrote:
I do disagree with the gov't tracking via gps where everyone is at all times.


Got a cell phone? Yes? Then I've got some bad news for you ...

I'm aware of that, and don't like it either. I disable the GPS functions on my phone, but can still be tracked via the towers. However, that differs in two ways: first it is the cell provider rather then the government doing the tracking; and second, the government isn't mandating everyone be tracked.


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5357
It's all to make us more secure you know. Anything for security is worth the sacrifice, right?

We live in a police state now. Anyone who thinks the 9/11 terrorists weren't successful should look at government security spending in the last 10 years. It is crippling us and is unsustainable. We've also been forced to give up many of our basic human rights.

It used to be that the real way to win a war was to make your enemy spend so much of their resources fighting the war that they collapse under the weight. Sound familiar?

That's a long way from tracking your prius but it all goes back to the same thing-incompetent and out-of-control government


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Ottawa, Canada
bpgui wrote:
I disable the GPS functions on my phone


Doesn't matter. They can still "ping" your phone and it will report its GPS coordinates, even if you've turned off the GPS feature. Even if your phone is off. The only way to disable it is to remove the battery.

It's a "safety feature," and is mandatory in every GPS-capable cell phone.


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Illinois
kombat wrote:
bpgui wrote:
I disable the GPS functions on my phone


Doesn't matter. They can still "ping" your phone and it will report its GPS coordinates, even if you've turned off the GPS feature. Even if your phone is off. The only way to disable it is to remove the battery.

It's a "safety feature," and is mandatory in every GPS-capable cell phone.

didn't know that and still don't like it, but a "ping" to find out where you're at seems much less invasive than constant tracking.


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5357
kombat wrote:
bpgui wrote:
I disable the GPS functions on my phone


Doesn't matter. They can still "ping" your phone and it will report its GPS coordinates, even if you've turned off the GPS feature. Even if your phone is off. The only way to disable it is to remove the battery.

It's a "safety feature," and is mandatory in every GPS-capable cell phone.


I'm pretty sure that is incorrect. I routinely carry my phone in areas with extreme sensitivity to any electromagnetic emissions. I have to turn my phone off at those times. If my phone were emitting anything, it would be detected and I'd be told.

If you mean that the phone can be turned on remotely, that's also a myth. Such a capability would be an extreme risk to national security. All I'd have to do is slip in a turned off cell phone, which are allowed in secure areas, then remotely activate the microphone and camera - both of which are trivial.


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:38 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Ottawa, Canada
DoingHomework wrote:
I'm pretty sure that is incorrect. I routinely carry my phone in areas with extreme sensitivity to any electromagnetic emissions. I have to turn my phone off at those times. If my phone were emitting anything, it would be detected and I'd be told.


The "ping" feature is passive. Your phone isn't transmitting while it's off - but it is still listening. Like an AM/FM radio, it doesn't emit anything while listening - only while transmitting.

It is listening for the command to "ping" its location. If it doesn't hear the signal, it never transmits anything. Since it is extremely unlikely that the government or cell provider routinely "pings" your particular phone randomly, it likely hasn't occurred any time you've been in the RF sensitive-areas, and thus the phone has never "answered" the ping and emitted RF signals.

I know it sounds unbelievable, but I used to work in the wireless division of Nortel Networks (remember them?). But don't take my word for it: https://ssd.eff.org/wire/protect/cell-tracking.

Quote:
[...]
Unfortunately, if you want to use your cell phone at all, avoiding the threat of this kind of real-time tracking is nearly impossible. That's because the government can track your cell phone whenever it's on, even if you aren't making a call. The government can even track some cell phones when they are powered down, unless you have also removed the battery. So, once again, there is a security trade-off: the only way to eliminate the risk of location tracking is to leave the cell phone at home, or remove the battery.


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 Post subject: Re: Your smartphone can now lower your Insurance rates
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5357
kombat wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:
I'm pretty sure that is incorrect. I routinely carry my phone in areas with extreme sensitivity to any electromagnetic emissions. I have to turn my phone off at those times. If my phone were emitting anything, it would be detected and I'd be told.


The "ping" feature is passive. Your phone isn't transmitting while it's off - but it is still listening. Like an AM/FM radio, it doesn't emit anything while listening - only while transmitting.

It is listening for the command to "ping" its location. If it doesn't hear the signal, it never transmits anything. Since it is extremely unlikely that the government or cell provider routinely "pings" your particular phone randomly, it likely hasn't occurred any time you've been in the RF sensitive-areas, and thus the phone has never "answered" the ping and emitted RF signals.

I know it sounds unbelievable, but I used to work in the wireless division of Nortel Networks (remember them?). But don't take my word for it: https://ssd.eff.org/wire/protect/cell-tracking.

Quote:
[...]
Unfortunately, if you want to use your cell phone at all, avoiding the threat of this kind of real-time tracking is nearly impossible. That's because the government can track your cell phone whenever it's on, even if you aren't making a call. The government can even track some cell phones when they are powered down, unless you have also removed the battery. So, once again, there is a security trade-off: the only way to eliminate the risk of location tracking is to leave the cell phone at home, or remove the battery.


Ok, that's a bit different. All they can do is read the GPS. And a court order is required. Still, I'm a bit doubtful about even that, in practice. It could be an enormous risk. Can you imagine someone being able to know the location of all major politicians at some moment in time just by having their cell number and hacked equipment? The thing is, I don't doubt it's possible. I just wonder how much is hype. I know that some wiretap/cell tracking technology is far simpler and less sophisticated than many people think. I'm also skeptical since if the government really wanted to make this a reality they'd require a small backup power source that worked for that function for a few hours after the battery is removed. That part would be easy. So basically, I'm not sure I find the EFF paper that convincing.


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