Hong Kong Protests, Instagram’s Anti-Phishing Tool, Smart Device Fail

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Oct 14 2019 12 mins   42
You’re listening to the Shared Security Podcast, exploring the trust you put in people, apps, and technology…with your host, Tom Eston In episode 90 for October 14th 2019: How protesters in Hong Kong are avoiding facial recognition, Instagram’s new anti-phishing tool, and my recent epic smart device failure incident. Being a frequent traveler myself, I’m always surprised at how many people at airports are not very aware of their privacy. Just last week while I was waiting for my flight I listened as someone was giving their credit card number over the phone, and another person had their laptop open and I was able to see a presentation they were working on which looked to have very sensitive business information. The message here is that we always need to be aware of our surroundings and be careful what you say or expose when you’re in a public place like an airport. And if you’re a privacy aware traveler like me I highly recommend using Silent Pocket’s product line of faraday bags, backpacks and wallets which are built with your digital privacy in mind. Check them out at silentpocket.com and receive 15% off your order at checkout using discount code “sharedsecurity” Welcome to the Shared Security Weekly Blaze Podcast where we update you on this week’s most important cybersecurity and privacy news. These podcasts are published every Monday and are 15 minutes or less quickly giving you “news that you can use” Violent protests continued in Hong Kong last week with the local authorities implementing a new anti-mask law which targets protestors wearing masks to avoid being recognized by the police and surveillance cameras. Now such bans are nothing new as Sri Lanka, France, the Netherlands, and Canada have similar controversial bans as well. Some protesters have even been seen wearing face paint in the form of Pepe the Frog which has recently been adopted as an international symbol of liberation for the Hong Kong protesters. Some protesters are even using laser pointers as a way to disable or make facial recognition technology harder to identify themselves. In related news, Apple has been criticized for removing an app from the Apple App Store because of pressure from the Chinese government. The app allowed protesters to crowdsource the locations of police. Apple is just the latest US based company joining the ranks of the NBA, and the video game company Blizzard who have given into Chinese pressure. This is very unfortunate and while I don’t bring up politics too much on this show, freedom loving people and companies should be supporting the protesters. And as a reminder, you as a consumer, have a choice on what products and entertainment you spend your money on. Now I bring up the Hong Kong protests because we all need to know that the technology that governments possess in order to identify protesters should be concerning to all of us. So when does the use of this technology truly become an invasion of our privacy all in the name of more security? Perhaps we’re already there. The good news is that we are seeing more privacy laws that several states in the US are now implementing. Just last week the state of California signed a bill into law that prevents police from using facial recognition technology on video recordings gathered by police officers. The bill states that quote “The use of facial recognition and other biometric surveillance is the functional equivalent of requiring every person to show a personal photo identification card at all times in violation of recognized constitutional rights.” end quote I think this is a positive sign that, at least in the US, facial recognition is beginning to become more regulated. Instagram has added a new security feature which will help you identify if an email was sent by Instagram or may be a phishing email. Here’s how this feature works. Let’s say you receive an email claiming to be from Instagram. You can now see if Instagram sent you that [...]