Lead Lining and You: A Helpful Guide

Published February 6, 2019

Big Telecom Sold Highly Sensitive Customer GPS Data Typically Used for 911 Calls

None of this is new information. Okay, some of it may be confirmed here for the very first time — but anybody with even glancing knowledge of

  1. the internet and
  2. human nature

-ought’ve grokked The Shape Of Things To Come from the second GPS made its way into phones.

THE ISSUE: As unsettling as it may be to know that your every waking movement is being tracked and recorded, it’s where the data ends up that matters most to the average bear.

And as far as they’re concerned, the final datumnal resting place is Google. Or Verizon. Or Apple. Or any of the million^million assorted XXX.io tech companies that spring up overnight like so many digital amanita phalloides.

And that’s just peachy — corporations are faceless, and uninterested in you. After all, who the fuck are you, anyway? Just some non-threatening proto-brand in an influencer’s world. Hell, the only reason they’re collecting data in the first place is to stoke the fires of an ever-more-intelligent algorithm that exists solely to make your day a little easier. A little more convenient. Just for you.


Except that consumer data is valuable. It’s the coinage of the future and — even though you’re not (yet) paid in likes — the future is now. And it has been for a while.

Except that corporations, hacking collectives, organized crime, despotic nation-states — all add up to a dipped toe in the sea of shitheels interested in every scrap, speck and polyp of consumer info they can gather. Because that’s where the power lies: collating across sources. All of a sudden all those data anonymization techniques don’t amount to a hill of beans in this Brave New World.

Except that corporations are not faceless. They are many, many faces — very few of which share the same overarching motivations. Tim Cook may feel that privacy is a fundamental human right — but can the same be said for each and every worker down the digital (neé factory) line?

And that’s if everything digital is properly secured on all sides: consumer, corporate, and every signal inbetween — a privacy advocate’s wet dream (though pipe dream is more accurate).

The reality is that any1 data2 that can be siphoned is siphoned. And since security is:

  1. the most expensive aspect of any digital endeavor, and
  2. the least consumer/bursar facing

-we must, invariably, arrive here.

Where Do We Go From Here

This is not my ideal starting point (“Ajit Pai’s Head On A P(a)ike” is more my speed) but it’s a start nonetheless.

Push it through. Build from there. Stay vigilant, trust nothing ineligible for a Social Security card, and never stop screaming about it.


  1. Prisons Across the u.s. Are Quietly Building Databases of Incarcerated People’s Voice Prints↩︎

  2. Google and Facebook were both caught violating Apple’s TOS, and now both are banned.↩︎

Last modified October 3, 2023  #privacy   #tech 

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