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Privacy concerns with newer GPS units

pelliot 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Discussions
GPS devices by themselves do NOT constitute a Real Time threat to your privacy, because GPS technology only involves one way communication from the GPS satellites to your GPS unit. Your GPS unit as a stand alone device is only a receiver, it CAN NOT; by it's self transmit your location, direction and speed of travel. Do keep in mind though: these GPS devices keep DETAILED FILES of your whereabouts, direction of travel and speed of travel, all of it; time stamped for easy tracking.

We like the Garmin Nuvi® 52, it is a fine GPS receiver unit, easy to use, works well, and most importantly does NOT have Bluetooth® built into it.


Garmin Nuvi® 52 - FrontGarmin Nuvi® 52 Back

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-road/automotive/new-2013/nuvi-52/prod120975.html

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Here is where the Real Privacy Threat is regarding GPS (Sat Nav):


Although GPS technology by itself, (not built into your car or mobile device) but merely as a stand alone unit such as a Garmin Nuvi® is pretty safe regarding privacy. However, do not buy a Garmin or any other brand of GPS unit that has Bluetooth® or FM transmitter, or any other wireless transmission protocol. The danger in having a Garmin or other GPS device with Bluetooth® or other transmitter built in is: now with a transmitter, this device is capable of being accessed remotely, thus both malicious hacking and real time surveillance now become possible.

Another very important issue regarding Garmin GPS: Map updates, You must connect your Garmin via as USB cable to an internet connected computer in order download and install new map updates to your device.
In doing so, your Garmin can now be accessed by the NSA while it is connected to your computer and the internet. The process of downloading the new maps, takes nearly an hour, even with the fastest internet connection; so it's safe to assume that during this file transfer, the NSA is able to get copies of all your travel information.

We recently (September, 2013) contacted Garmin and asked them if there was a way to download and install the map updates without connecting our Garmin to the internet via a USB cable to our computer; they said NO, and there are no plans for it in the future.

We further inquired how we could get map updates without internet connectivity. There is a way: you must call Garmin and ask to purchase the map updates on SD card for about $79 (USD), apparently you must provide them with your unit's serial number and other personal information.

This alternate method of updating maps, is not listed on Garmin's website, and they will not tell you about it unless you ask. We later asked them directly if they provided our travel data to NSA; they never answered the question directly, but instead referred us to their privacy policy:
https://fly.garmin.com/fly-garmin/legal/privacy.jsp

In our opinion: The best way to update your Garmin's maps without compromising your privacy, is to simply buy a newer model when it is released.

However, don't pay extra for the model that comes with lifetime maps that you must compromise your privacy and security in order to download and install.

Garmin makes several models of GPS unit, usually you can tell very quickly by the model number suffix "LM" if the unit includes lifetime maps for example the Garmin Nuvi® 52 and the Garmin Nuvi® 52LM which is about $20 (USD) more expensive.

One more thing about GPS: ALWAYS avoid purchasing vehicles with built in navigation systems. Aside from the navigation system becoming outdated before the rest of the vehicle; privacy is greatly sacrificed with a GPS system that is integrated into a vehicle. It is much easier to make a device the size of a mobile phone "disappear", than it is to rip out the wiring and components of your vehicle to conceal your travel information; should "Big Brother" come a calling.

Comments

  • Boyd 1744 Points
    Some of your concerns are valid, and I have mentioned them before here. And some other concerns are probably just paranoia. The bottom line is that privacy, as we once knew it, is gone forever. We are going to just have to deal with that.

    Your car and license plate are constantly photographed as you drive around, all transactions made with credit and debit cards are tracked, cameras on the street film you as you walk around, facial recognition software is getting wider use.

    Welcome to our brave new world. :wink:
  • I agree, privacy as we knew it is gone forever. Yes they can photograph your license plate; but they can only track you so far as: how much money they are willing to put into infrastructure. They can't afford to put cameras everywhere, and you still have the option of buying things with cash and leaving your mobile phone at home.

    Our point here is: don't buy a device that is poorly designed from the standpoint of personal privacy.

    Don't contribute to "Big Brother" and make it easy for him to track you by choosing electronic products that contribute to the surveillance state. By doing so, you are spending your own money to make total surveillance of your own actions, affordable and easy for the government, with a minimum of effort on their part. :(
  • What type of tinfoil hat(s) do you wear?
  • To: Lostinthewoods

    You may not be concerned about your privacy, perhaps you "drank the Kool Aid" that they are selling about surveillance for safety; but we don't think "Big Brother" is always so benevolent. :wink:

    Consider this:

    Some governments, corporations and people casually attempt to undermine our rights by trying to prohibit us the right of anonymity under pretense of the most social engineered sentence of our modern society: "If you have nothing to hide, surveillance won't bother you." :idea:
  • dhn 228 Points
    And if it weren't for street cameras, the Boston Marathon bombers would likely still be out there..........
  • To dhn,

    With all the surveillance, including those guys' cell phones, and text messages, internet traffic; Not to mention a memorandum from Russia's state security service (the FSB, the Russian equivalent to the American FBI), regarding the brothers affiliations with terrorist organizations; Our authorities still could not prevent that terrorist attack from happening! :(

    It seems that all this surveillance is more about preventing political dissidence in America, than preventing acts of terrorism. How many times have we heard the Occupy movements here in america, claim that their organizations were infiltrated by agents using social media to track the movement's activities? :idea:
  • To: Lostinthewoods

    You may not be concerned about your privacy, perhaps you "drank the Kool Aid" that they are selling about surveillance for safety; but we don't think "Big Brother" is always so benevolent. :wink:

    Consider this:

    Some governments, corporations and people casually attempt to undermine our rights by trying to prohibit us the right of anonymity under pretense of the most social engineered sentence of our modern society: "If you have nothing to hide, surveillance won't bother you." :idea:

    Do you think the NSA is monitoring my Bluetooth enabled hearing aids?

    Who is this "we" you keep mentioning? They sound more than a bit paranoid to me.

    Please enlighten me with something new rather than the regurgitated paranoid poop you are slinging here.

    Lostinthewoods, Secret Squirrel (Retired)
  • to: Lostinthewoods,

    Bluetooth operates on the 2 Ghz. microwave band and has a nominal range of 20 to 50 feet. However, if it were to be used within that range of 50 feet; near a mobile phone with Bluetooth capability, that mobile phone could act as a repeater, and broadcast that Bluetooth device's (your hearing aid's) signal to the network where it becomes easy pickings for the NSA.

    With the speed and complexity of modern mobile internet connections and mobile device operating systems, it would be unnoticeable to any user of such devices.

    Maybe it is difficult to prove, but this scenario is entirely possible with existing technology, currently in the possession of nearly half the adult population of the United States. :shock:

    As for "We" please read our social media disclaimer:
    http://www.ahh.biz/utility_pages/social_media_disclaimer.htm
  • And if it weren't for street cameras, the Boston Marathon bombers would likely still be out there..........
    AMEN!!


  • As for "We" please read our social media disclaimer:
    http://www.ahh.biz/utility_pages/social_media_disclaimer.htm
    No way! I wouldn't want the NSA associating me with your "we".
  • To dhn,

    With all the surveillance, including those guys' cell phones, and text messages, internet traffic; Not to mention a memorandum from Russia's state security service (the FSB, the Russian equivalent to the American FBI), regarding the brothers affiliations with terrorist organizations; Our authorities still could not prevent that terrorist attack from happening! :(

    It seems that all this surveillance is more about preventing political dissidence in America, than preventing acts of terrorism. How many times have we heard the Occupy movements here in america, claim that their organizations were infiltrated by agents using social media to track the movement's activities? :idea:
  • Believe what you want and associate with whom you please, but do inform yourself about the world you live in. Think critically, and gather information from more than one source; if for no other reason, than to become a well rounded person. :D




    Please note: we are not affiliated with the group that posted this video.


  • As for "We" please read our social media disclaimer:
    http://www.ahh.biz/utility_pages/social_media_disclaimer.htm


    No way! I wouldn't want the NSA associating me with your "we".

    You are afraid to visit this website because you fear repercussions from the NSA (or the government) by being linked to another person or group of people.

    I hope you realize the gravity of what just happened here: That surveillance or just the threat of it, changes our society, and the way people think, and makes this great country less free.

    Thank You very much for proving our point! 8)
  • Believe what you want and associate with whom you please, but do inform yourself about the world you live in. Think critically, and gather information from more than one source; if for no other reason, than to become a well rounded person. :D




    Please note: we are not affiliated with the group that posted this video.
    I'm a BTDT, who's been to places you've never even heard of...I suggest that you get yourself up from in front of your computer monitor, out of your room, and ask your mom to let you go outside to see the real world.

    Lostinthewoods

    OUT
  • Throwing insults at people you disagree with?
  • Tim 1456 Points
    This conversation has taken a steep dive into nothing about GPS-- only about politics and throwing insults. Neither of those topics belong here and if it continues, I or another moderator will lock it as off-topic.


  • As for "We" please read our social media disclaimer:
    http://www.ahh.biz/utility_pages/social_media_disclaimer.htm


    No way! I wouldn't want the NSA associating me with your "we".



    You are afraid to visit this website because you fear repercussions from the NSA (or the government) by being linked to another person or group of people.

    I hope you realize the gravity of what just happened here: That surveillance or just the threat of it, changes our society, and the way people think, and makes this great country less free.

    Thank You very much for proving our point! 8)
    ROTFLMAO...actually you just proved how gullible you are!
  • dhn 228 Points
    As the admin warned, this thread has strayed way too much.

    Am locking it.
This discussion has been closed.
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