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Opinions Tuesday Newsday

Tuesday Newsday Sept 5 - Sept 11: Exploits, DNA Databases, & Cars That Spy On You

Graham C
Graham C

Welcome back to this week's edition of Tuesday Newsdayâ„¢. Indulge in a tempting array of beer-battered news morsels as we go over significant events in the world that you might have missed.

  • New cars are really bad for privacy. Every major manufacturer that was tested by Mozilla had privacy and security flaws. Every...single...one

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, car manufacturers are also in on the data brokerage game. Sensitive data that is being collected by these car companies include race, facial expression, weight, where you drive, and in some more extreme cases, sexual activity and immigration status.

  • The FBI has collected 21 million DNA profiles, equivalent to 7% of the population of the United States.

Armed with over $50 million a year to continually amass DNA samples, the FBI shows no signs of slowing down. There are serious civil liberties concerns, especially from the ACLU, about the concept of an ever-expanding DNA database that covers the entire country.

Because you can be identified by DNA expelled simply from breathing normally (yes, that is actually something they're capable of figuring out), law enforcement is extracting what they like to call "Environmental DNA." By that logic, having breathed the same air as an offender could potentially get you mixed up in something much more severe.

But it's okay! Surely, the government & law enforcement will work together to make a rational and logical decision that benefits us all as citizens... syke.

GIF of guy laughing with the text: Ha! Got Heeem!
"The FBI be like: With liberty and justice for all"
  • The BLASTPASS Exploit Chain can compromise your iPhone (on the latest versions of iOS) without any interaction from you.

The exploit chain enables hackers to deploy Pegasus spyware from everybody's favorite super secret Israeli cyber intelligence firm, NSO Group. Apple has already issued a fix, so iPhone users should update their devices immediately. Those who may be at additional risk of targeted attacks due to their identity or profession should use Lockdown Mode.

This week provided us with more juicy morsels of tasty news. The key takeaways:

  • Your Tesla is definitely listening to you
  • The US government wants a sample of your semen
  • You should probably update your iPhone right now

In true 2023 form, that's another round of sentences you'd expect to read in Brave New World (if a Gen-Z'er wrote it). We'll see you again next week for more scrumptious news nibbles. In the meantime, I'll be in the word kitchen cooking up a storm.

And remember, while online, you are an infinite source of data that companies want to perpetually leech off. Keep that Windscribe connection activated to live a leech-free digital life. If you don't have Windscribe already, it's never too late to join our tribe: Sign up today!

Graham C
Graham C